SNP Immigration spokesperson Stuart McDonald MP has said the UK government is damaging Scotland’s economy by deterring international students with its hostile immigration policies – as a new report was launched today by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
The SNP MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East called for the UK government to scrap Tory hostile immigration policies, including the arbitrary net migration target, reintroduce the post-study work visa, and devolve immigration powers to the Scottish Parliament - to attract more international students to study, live and work in Scotland.
In their report, MAC conclude there is scope to increase the number of international students in the UK, and recommend changes to UK government immigration rules, including loosening visa requirements, to enable international students to access skilled jobs in the UK more easily after they graduate.
Commenting Stuart McDonald MP said:
“The UK government’s hostile immigration policies are damaging Scotland’s economy and deterring the top talent we must attract to live, study and work here.
“The Tories seem totally oblivious to the harm they are causing by scrapping the post-study work visa, and obsessing over their arbitrary and senseless net migration targets.
“Under the Tories, the UK is in danger of losing its position as a world-leader in international education. While countries like Australia and Canada have seen their number of international students grow by 45% and 57% respectively, the UK has had an increase of just 3% since 2011.
“International students bring huge benefits to Scotland’s education sector, and the SNP want to ensure graduates can remain here and contribute their skills to our workforce and society.
“The UK government must reintroduce the post-study work visa, ditch their net migration targets, and devolve immigration powers to the Scottish Parliament - so we can build a system that is designed to meet Scotland’s needs and values.”