Students and immigration figures

Ah, it’s nice to see the government contorting themselves, attempting to get around the stupidity of their own policies. Case in point: immigration. Allowing foreign students should be a no-brainer: people come, pay money, get indoctrinated, and leave. Put in the most cynical terms, it’s soft power with a negative cost.

It’s just a shame that the only way to get this through is by cooking the books. The government have promised to reduce immigration, thus their only way out is to stop counting students as people:

Prime Minister David Cameron is understood to be concerned that visa restrictions are stopping wealthy foreigners from studying in British universities.
….

The idea of removing students from official immigration figures was floated by a Conservative and Labour MP yesterday, who say they are trying to build a cross party consensus on the issue.
Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi and Labour MP Paul Blomfield said there was a “growing perception abroad that in terms of higher education, Britain is closed for business.”

The problem is, it’s a fix:

The idea of excluding students was rejected by immigration minister Damian Green last month, amid concerns that he would be seen as “fiddling” the figures.

Well, yes, it is fiddling the figures. Maybe we need separate categories for ‘profitable immigrants’ and ‘unprofitable immigrants’? At least then the statistics would, um, reflect government priorities.

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