Joint letter warns of risks to Scottish economy if migrations rules are tightened

We, with Scottish Cities Alliance, have written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak regarding our concerns of the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) review of the graduate route, and the implications increased migration controls would have on international students.

We emphasise that the economic benefits that international students bring to Scotland go far beyond universities as they make a fundamental contribution to regional and national economies. Research shows that international students make a net positive contribution of at least £4.75bn to the Scottish economy. The benefits of this major export success story are felt across every parliamentary (MP) constituency, with the average net impact of international students for each constituency in Scotland estimated at £71m, equivalent to approximately £750 per resident.

We warned that policy changes which put the UK’s post study work opportunities on a less competitive footing than our global competitors risks damaging an economic success story. International students will be more predisposed to choose Toronto over Glasgow and Melbourne instead of Edinburgh.

We have asked that the UK Government carefully analyses the findings of the MAC from the review, examining the economic consequences that would follow if the graduate route is to be restricted.

You can read more on this letter in The Times.