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Racist immigration policies threaten innovation

July 26th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Universities in the UK are being hit with a double whammy. Not only are fees for English based students being increased to up to £9000 a year, which will inevitably put off many working class students from applying to university, but new racist go0vernement policies on immigration are being introduced to stop students from outside the EU from studying in the UK. The Guardian newspaper reports “that the home secretary, Theresa May, has refused to accept an official “impact assessment” which put the cost to Britain’s economy of her curbs on overseas students at up to £3.6bn.

May has dismissed her own department’s official assessment of the impact of her policy on overseas student visas, and has instead asked the migration advisory committee for a “better assessment and a better judgment of the true picture”.

Her actions are strongly criticised by MPs on the Commons home affairs select committee, who say it confirms their “deep concerns” that Home Office ministers are not taking “evidence-based policy” as seriously as they could.

The MPs say that the disputed impact assessment – which warns of the £2.4bn cost to the British economy of curbing overseas student visas – was not published until 12 weeks after the policy was announced, despite ministerial promises.”

Other European countries are fighting to attract students at just the very time when England is refusing them entry. And whilst the first impact will be on university income, in the long term this measure will only stifle innovation in the UK. But this may be of little concern with a politician who when confronted with the results of research merely tells the researcher to do it again and make sure the outcomes are what she wants.

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