MPs and Peers announce Inquiry for international students

MPs and Peers announce first-ever Inquiry into building a sustainable future for international students in the UK

The APPG for International Students has announced a new Inquiry into the opportunities and challenges in building a sustainable future for international students in the UK. There are over 500,000 international students in primary, secondary and tertiary education, and over 580,000 students learning English, each year in the UK.

The APPG for International Students will launch the Inquiry at a roundtable in Parliament today, attended by a range of experts from education, business, trade and local communities. The APPG will also host two oral evidence sessions in July and September to hear more detailed evidence including from UK and international students. This first-ever Inquiry for the APPG will run throughout summer, reporting in October.

Commenting on the inquiry launch, Co-Chair Paul Blomfield MP said: “Recent reports have shown the positive economic impact that international students make a on every constituency in the UK, alongside their contribution to the vitality of our education system.”

“We must understand the impact that Brexit will have on international students, and the consequent effects on communities in every region of the UK.  This new inquiry will get to the heart of concerns from students, institutions and communities, in developing recommendations on how we can ensure a sustainable future in which we can build on our strong position in welcoming international students to the UK.”

Co-Chair Lord Bilimoria said: “International students are rightly asking if the UK will welcome them. With more international students looking for a global study experience the UK should be their first choice, but many are choosing competitor countries instead. We provide the best education in the world and should be proud to share it with UK and international students alike.”

“The UK has long established partnerships with countries like India and China which are built on the exchange of ideas, knowledge and research – the currency of students and academics. Our Inquiry will explore the impact of international students in our classrooms, for our business and on our global partnerships. Our recommendations will pave the way for a positive approach to welcoming and retaining international students and the positive impacts they bring.”

APPG for International Students Inquiry Outline

A sustainable future for international students in the UK?

The APPG for International Students is interested in hearing evidence, views and experiences on how the UK could build a sustainable future for international students in the UK.

In the classroom

What are the educational opportunities and challenges of welcoming international students into our schools, colleges and universities?

Answers could include: impact on all students’ cultural understanding, global perspectives, impact on breadth of courses, additional resources needed, integrating UK and international students, impact and cost of immigration compliance

In our communities

What are the challenges and opportunities of integrating international students and their dependants into local communities? Do international students differ from other migrant or visitor communities in this regard?

Answers could include: impact on school education, transport, and housing; facilitating cultural diversity and international dialogue in the local community; co-production of social initiatives between community and education institutions; perception of international students as migrants by the community

For our regions and nations

According to a recent report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) there are over three times as many higher education international students London and the South East than any other region of the UK[1]. Is this regional tilt similar for international students in other levels of education and if so, what would be the challenges and opportunities of achieving a greater balance of international students in regions across the UK?

What are the costs and benefits of international students participating in the regional and national labour market and how could we ensure they have a sustainable role in supporting and building local or skilled industry post-study?

Answers could include: impact of UK-wide approach to immigration, working during study, work experience and internships, entrepreneurship and starting businesses in the UK and greater post study work visa options.

For research, trade and soft power

What role do international students play in increasing global research capabilities, trade links and soft power for the UK and what strategies could be implemented to support this further?

The inquiry will take evidence from a range of expert stakeholders including: international students; school, college, and university leaders; education, business and local community representatives; government; and researchers.

Written contributions to the inquiry are welcome and should be forwarded to the APPG secretariat at until 3 September 2018 at midnight.

Paul Blomfield MP and Lord Karan Bilimoria were elected Co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Students at its inaugural meeting in May 2016. Our officers include: Nicky Morgan MP (Secretary), Baroness Pola Uddin (Treasurer), Geoffrey Robinson MP (Vice-Chair), Alison Thewliss MP (Vice-Chair), Baroness Diana Warwick (Vice-Chair)

For further information, please contact:
Joy Elliott-Bowman, Secretariat for the APPG for International Students on 020 3929 3374 (Ext 204) or by email, or visit our website for-international-students/ inquiry

Source: ExEduk