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Things can only get bitter

With the general election set for 4 July, what does the future hold for universities?

The sole focus of attention for universities today was supposed to be the government’s response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on the graduate route visa. But following an announcement on the steps of Downing Street by a rain-sodden Rishi Sunak yesterday evening, the sector must also start gearing up for a long-awaited general election campaign.

It would now seem that the reason the prime minister was said to be rowing back on further restrictions on international students was not necessarily a change of heart, under pressure from big beasts in the cabinet, but to clear the grid for the launch of the election campaign. Universities should not rule out a commitment in the Conservative manifesto to limiting student visas, but the next six weeks will determine whether such a threat ever becomes a reality.

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