Statement on HEPI research on student migration – 25 June 2015

by Liam Byrne | 25.06.15 | in: Economics, Immigration, Labour market, National news, Uncategorized, Universities, Science & Skills, Westminster

 

Dear friends,

 

Today HEPI has released the findings of it’s recent survey of students’ attitudes towards studying alongside international students.

 

Here’s my statement in response:

 

“If we want to lead the world in science, research and new technologies then the free movement of students and scientists is key. Today’s research from HEPI show that our home students know that already. 

We have to ensure that our country is connected to the best brainpower, wherever it happens to be born. 

If we want to lead the world then we must look again at the current post-study work visa arrangements.”

 

You can read the report here: http://www.hepi.ac.uk/2015/06/25/new-hepi-hea-research-shows-half-undergraduates-say-international-students-work-harder-british-ones/

 

The reports key findings:

 

  • The vast majority (86%) of undergraduate students in the UK study alongside international students. Only 10% say they do not. A relatively high proportion of students in London and Scotland (both 95%) and a relatively low proportion of students in the West Midlands (74%) say they study alongside people from other countries.
  • A majority of students (54%) think international students work ‘much harder’ or ‘a little harder’ than home students and only 4% think they work ‘less hard’ or ‘much less hard’. One third (33%) think they work the same and 9% say they don’t know.
  • The results vary by residency, with 52% of home students, 67% of EU students and 69% of non-EU international students saying international students work either ‘a little harder’ or ‘much harder’ than UK students.
  • Over three-quarters of respondents say studying alongside people from other countries ‘is useful preparation for working in a global environment’ (33% ‘strongly agree’ and 45% ‘agree’). However, students from other countries were more than twice as likely to ‘strongly agree’ (29% for UK students, 65% for students from the EU and 62% for other students from abroad).
  • Although the number of non-UK students in the survey was small, they were also typically more positive about the other benefits and less negative about the potential disadvantages: for example, only 12% of UK students ‘strongly agree’ that studying alongside international students helps them develop a global network compared to 37% of EU and 47% of non-EU students.
  • One-in-four students think international students need more attention from lecturers (26%) and slow down the class due to language issues (25%) but two-thirds disagree that the presence of international students reduces the quality of the academic discussions (65%).
  • The majority of students (75%) are agnostic about whether their lecturers come from other countries, although twice as many (16%) hope to have some lecturers from abroad as hope they do not have any (8%). Students in the north east are the least favourable towards international staff, with 6% wanting to have some lecturers from abroad and 17% per cent hoping they do not. Those studying in Scotland are notably more favourable, with 22% hoping to have some lecturers from abroad and only 3% wanting none.

 

 

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