Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

International students should stay in the UK

By Camilla Iversen Nov 2, 2016
Time Higher Education named Kingston University one of the top 150 most international institutions Photo by Michael Weber/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock (4859520a)

For the almost three years that I have been attending Kingston University I have paid £36,700 in tuition fees as a non-European overseas student.

I started out paying a fee of £11,000 in my first year and now I pay £13,000 for my third year. That is a £9,700 difference from what UK students are paying.

Luckily, my teachers and the quality of the courses here at Kingston University made it worth paying that much.

Last week, Theresa May, together with Home Secretary Amber Rudd, rejected the idea that foreign students should not count as immigrants – making it harder for future international students to come study here.

Or at least the ones who are attending universities of less quality, which “only punishes those we should want to help,” according to Amber Rudd.

This means, world-leading institutions in the UK will get more money to attract “the brightest and the best” of overseas students. And universities like Kingston University, currently number 109 of Top UK Universities, will get less.

Their main concern? Overseas students may disappear into the system and stay in Britain after graduation, taking jobs from British people.

There are currently 2,470 non -European overseas students studying at Kingston University, which generates a total of around £27-32m in tuition fees.

You could argue that fewer students would make it easier for their teachers to have more time to help each student individually.

But if we look at it from a non-economic perspective, students and staff would not have been able to get to know all the different cultures we have here at Kingston through societies or events like the cultural festival in the student union.

We might not have been able to make connections across continents while studying. Which is one of the main reasons why so many decide to study overseas in the first place.

Greater London has always been known as a cultural melting pot. Restricting overseas students would disrupt that image.

After what happened with Brexit this summer, you would think the government would try to make the UK more attractive again for international students considering we are currently worth over £10,7bn to the UK economy, according to Universities UK.

Around 75% of British people even say they would be open to even more international students coming to the UK.

So this idea to limit international students in the years to come will only harm UK universities, their further development and the economy- not to mention the relationship between England and other countries.

There is a reason to why international students choose to leave their own country to study here in in England, and that is because universities here are among the best in the world when it comes to education.

I understand why they are afraid that overseas students will settle down and take jobs from people living here. I would be frustrated if I did not get a job in Norway because an international student decided to stay after they have graduated and got the job instead.

But on the other hand, he or she probably got it because they are better than me, not because of their nationality. After all, Theresa May’s number one mission as Prime Minister is to make the UK “a country that works for everyone”.

I do not think she is doing a very good job at the moment because I do not feel as welcome anymore.


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