Allegedly concerned about the number of foreign students from countries such as India coming to the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron, and Home secretary Theresa May have called for the introduction of a tougher English language test in order to cut the number of international students in the UK. It has been suggested that the new test will reportedly cut 25,000 students per year.
International students have to pass a written and spoken English language test as part of their university admission and visa procedure. However, the plan for introducing a tougher language test has sparked concern among universities that rely on international students for their income, as international students pay double the amount of what a UK/EU student would pay for their student fee, while also contributing to the local economy.
Regarding the new plan, chief executive of Universities UK, Nicola Dandridge said, “There is no evidence to suggest that students recruited under the current English language requirements are held back by their English language skills or are performing poorly academically. In fact, official data shows the degree results achieved by international students are similar to those of UK students, with 87% of non-UK students achieving a first or second-class degrees.”
Theresa May stated, “We've made changes to the student route to ensure that those coming to those institutions are eligible to do so. Nine-hundred private colleges are no longer able to bring in overseas students as a result of action we've taken. We constantly look to see if there are other issues that we need to address.”