It’s time for a cap on overseas students. The number of international students studying at UK universities has skyrocketed in recent years. New data shows they now make up a record one in four of all undergraduates at Russell Group universities in England.
While this is great news for university balance sheets – international students pay an average of £24,000 per year in tuition fees, compared to the £9,250 paid by domestic students – it’s not necessarily good for the quality of education or the overall experience of students.
With such a high proportion of overseas students, campuses are becoming increasingly internationalised and less representative of the UK population. This can lead to cultural clashes and a feeling of isolation for domestic students.
According to a recent survey by the Higher Education Policy Institute, nearly a third of UK students said they felt “overwhelmed” by the number of international students on their course. A quarter said they felt “like a minority”.
Andrew Tettenborn, a law professor at the University of Bristol, says he has seen first-hand the valuable contribution that international students make to university life. But he believes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
“I think it’s time to start capping the number of overseas students at UK universities,” he says. “Otherwise, we risk damaging the quality of education and the overall university experience for everyone involved.”
In addition, universities such as the LSE and UCL are now so reliant on the fees paid by international students that they could be in financial trouble if there were a sudden drop in demand.
A cap on overseas students would help to protect against this by ensuring that universities still had a healthy mix of domestic and international students. It would also help address UK students\’ concerns about being outnumbered on their campuses.
It’s time to introduce a cap on the number of international students at UK universities. This would help to ensure that campuses remain diverse and inclusive places where all students can benefit from the richness of different cultures and perspectives.
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