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Export licence

The UK now has an international education strategy, and universities are questioning plans for contingent contributions to the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

It was former education secretary Michael Gove who famously said that this country had had enough of experts. If you have been following the government’s policy on international students in the past few years, you would be forgiven for thinking that the country has also had enough of exports.

While the UK has consciously sought to create a hostile environment for migrants, other countries—notably Australia, now the second most popular global destination for international students—have pooled their efforts across government to prioritise educational exports. Last year, Alec Cameron, the Australian vice-chancellor of Aston University, told HE: “In Australia, all departments—treasury, education, home affairs—meet as a group in the context of a higher education international strategy to foster growth in the sector. The UK system has greater assets than Australia, but government policy in the UK does not see higher education as a sector it has an interest in fostering and developing.”

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