Government ministers give evidence to Lords on impact of immigration controls on overseas students

14 March 2014

Lords will next week question the Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts MP, as well as Minister of State for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire MP, on ‘widespread concern’ over the effects of immigration policies on student numbers.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will quiz the Ministers, as well as three university professors, as part of their investigation’s last evidence session. The inquiry is looking specifically at the numbers of international students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and how prospective students may have been influenced by immigration rules.

On Tuesday 18 March the Committee will ask the two Ministers if the Government should be doing anything to combat the effects that immigration rules changes may be having on student numbers, whether changes in the Immigration Bill might potentially make the situation worse, and whether the removal of the Post Study Work route has ‘put a brake on growth’. The Committee will also ask university representatives about their experience of student number fluctuations, whether attracting global talent is being hindered, and how the UK compares to other countries.

Evidence will be heard at 10.40am from:

  • Professor Mick Fuller, Head of Graduate School, Graduate School (Research & Innovation), Plymouth University; 
  • Professor Anthony Finkelstein, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University College London; and
  • Professor Scott MacGregor, Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Strathclyde.

And approximately at 11.40am from:

  • David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS); and
  • James Brokenshire MP, Minister of State for Immigration and Security, Home Office.

The evidence sessions will be held on Tuesday 18 March starting at 10.40am in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.

The 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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