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Gavin Newlands MP condemn ‘deeply damaging’ Tory plans to slash international student numbers

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has condemned UK government plans to slash the number of international students as “incomprehensible and deeply damaging”. Reports suggest that the Home Office is considering cutting international student numbers by nearly half, from 300,000 to 170,000, in order to help meet its arbitrary immigration targets. The policy comes despite opposition from the Scottish Government, the UK’s higher education sector, and the huge contribution that international students make – including bringing an estimated £10.7billion to the UK economy. In 2014/15 Scotland welcomed over 50,000 students from overseas, including 29,210 international students from out with the EU, and Scottish Institutions received an income of £445 million from non-EU student course fees alone. Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said: “The UK government's plans to slash the number of international students are incomprehensible and deeply damaging. “In blind pursuit of their arbitrary immigration target the Tories are willing to actively harm our world-leading universities, and forgo the huge contribution that international students make to our economy and society. Scotland already took a hit when the Tories scrapped our valuable post study visa scheme – despite the huge benefits it provided and the widespread support it had.

“International students are valued members of Scottish society, they bring enormous benefits and should be welcomed not demonised. University of West of Scotland has 1,393 international students from 70 countries and along bringing their knowledge and skills to the UK and internationalise our university and local communities. The SNP will do everything we can to oppose these Tory plans and the increasingly hostile environment that migrants are facing in the UK.”

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