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How to turn an environment from hostile to friendly

The UK is falling behind when it comes to attracting students from other countries. Despite a disappointing report from the Migration Advisory Committee, there are steps that can be taken to remedy the situation.

This week saw the publication of a report—Staying Ahead: Are international students going under?—that had the sole objective of restrengthening education exports in the national interest. Compiled by the Higher Education Commission, an independent body of leaders from education, industry and the three major political parties, it involved an extensive public inquiry and parliamentary hearings.

The number of international students coming to the UK has changed little for more than half a decade, except that numbers from China are up and numbers from some other countries are down. In contrast, on the world scale, cross-border student movement is growing rapidly. The UK is losing its market share.

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