Impact of immigration controls on foreign students: is the UK failing to attract global talent?

07 March 2014

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will next week explore whether immigration controls have affected international student numbers in the UK and whether potential students are choosing to study elsewhere.

On Tuesday 11 March the Committee will ask a range of questions to senior university staff as well as getting an employers’ perspective from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation. 

The inquiry is looking at the numbers of international students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and how prospective student numbers may have been affected by immigration rules. Other questions on Tuesday will include whether there are any differences between disciplines; whether there are country-to-country differences; what other factors might influence student numbers; and whether the removal of the Post Study Work route has had any impact. 

The session will be in two parts. 

In part one, evidence will be heard, at 10.40am, from:

  • Sir Andrew Witty, Chancellor, University of Nottingham;
  • Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor, University of the West of England and Chair of Universities UK’s health policy network; and
  • Professor Erol Gelenbe, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London and member of the UK Computing Research Committee.

In part two, at approximately 11.40am, the Committee will hear from:

  • Mr Tim Thomas, Head of Employment and Skills Policy, EEF;
  • Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor, Cranfield University; and
  • Professor Helen Atkinson, Head of Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, Vice President, Royal Academy of Engineering and Chair of the Standing Committee on Engineering and Training, Immediate Past President Engineering Professors' Council.

The evidence session will be held on Tuesday 11 March at 10.40am in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.

he session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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