Commenting on speculation that the UK Government may look to cut international student numbers, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:
“Any attempts to cut international student numbers at Scottish universities would be damaging to universities and the Scottish economy. Every year more than 65,000 students from more than 180 countries study in Scotland. This diversity brings significant advantages to both our students and the wider university community as well as generating a £1.94bn net contribution to the Scottish economy.
“80% of recently surveyed international graduates said they intend to build professional links with organisations in the UK and 74% indicated that they are more likely to do business with Scotland as a result of studying here. Why would we want to reduce these opportunities?
“Additionally, Scottish universities face a double whammy: we are reliant on income from international students to subsidise the cost of teaching Scottish students due to underfunding from the Scottish Government. Any move to restrict international students should be resisted by universities, the business community and wider society.”