The Tories want to boot foreign students out when they graduate

First they came for the international students


Heartless politicians are threatening to deport international students after they finish their degree.

In a move to flirt with UKIP sympathisers, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced plans to force foreigners to get a new visa when they graduate.

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But Lib Dems and Labour branded the crackdown “silly”, because it would mean paying to train some of the country’s most skilled workers, and then deporting them.

And horrified international students hit out at the plans.

Shipra Khanna, a Singaporean in her third year at Nottingham said: “Theresa May’s plans don’t make sense.

“Giving international students a visa which expires four months after graduation isn’t fuelling net immigration.

“If they force International students to leave immediately after graduating – how are they supposed to do interviews for jobs?”

Fellow Singaporean Daniel Teo, a Biomedical student from Durham said: “If we have to leave the country and reapply for a visa, it would just discourage people from wanting to find jobs in the UK.

“The process would be the same as finding a job anywhere else outside of our home countries.

“It’ll only discourage international students from studying here in the first place, if they had planned to further their careers here.”

Last year 70,000 non-EU students remained in Britain after they graduated.

May and her supporters claim their plan would reduce net migration and prevent abuse of the system, where students stay after their visas run out.

A source close to the Home Secretary said: “Making sure immigrants leave Britain at the end of their visa is as important a part of running a fair and efficient immigration system as controlling who comes here in the first place.

“Theresa is pressing for the next Conservative manifesto to contain a policy that will make sure that anybody coming here on a student visa will have to leave the country in order to apply for a new visa of any kind.

“She wants to make the colleges and universities that sponsor foreign students responsible for ensuring their departure.

“And she wants to be able to fine colleges and universities with low departure rates and deprive the worst of them of their right to sponsor foreign students.”

But Lib Dem and Labour MPs say foreign students bring skills and “billions of investment” to the country.

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Note: These percentages include EU students

A source close to Vince Cable, the business secretary, said: “There is absolutely not a chance in hell that this will happen while we are in government.”

An aide to Nick Clegg added: “We think it is a very bad idea to get rid of people who have spent years training to be physicists and computer programmers. We’ve invested a lot in these people and to turf them out for the sake of some figures doesn’t make any sense.”

More than half of the students at four UK unis – LSE, University of the Arts London, Imperial and UCL – are from outside the UK.