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The message on graduate visas is clear—will the government listen?

The Migration Advisory Committee’s message on graduate visas could not be clearer. As the MAC put it in its government-commissioned review this week, the visa route is “not undermining the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system”. 

On the contrary, as sector leaders, policy observers and even several Conservative grandees have argued during the two-month-long review, those it attracts to the country are helping to prop up the HE system in the face of the government’s failure to address major structural shortcomings in the way it is funded. Even before their long-term economic and cultural contribution to the UK is considered, international students—for whom the graduate visa is a key offering—are offsetting some of the critical shortfalls in funding for teaching and research resulting from “the failure to properly fund the sector”, the MAC said.

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