Does anybody writing this bollocks actually work in a university?
Fact. Overseas students pay a lot of money to come and study in a system that they and their future employers believe - rightly - to be one of the highest quality and (BIG plus) least corrupt education systems in the world. Hence the fact that education is one of the last remaining truly successful export industries in Britain. The difference between the money that comes into the UK from abroad and the money that goes out to other countries' education systems is VAST. I cannot think of another sector in Britain that, in these relative terms, contributes more to the economy. If you can, let me know what it is, I'm genuinely interested.
Fact. In a time of economic downturn, the US and Australia, to name but two of the UK's major competitors in this sector, have changed laws to facilitate the entry of foreign students. Yes folks, they're making it easier to get these people in. That's the US. Easier. Not nigh on impossible.
Fact. There is no legal requirement for students to attend lectures. Nor should there be. If they don't come they don't get the degree that they have paid huge amounts of money for (far more than a British student will ever pay). Do people seriously think the vast majority of students don't care about that? When their families have made sacrifices to send them to this high-quality educational environment? Take your stereotypes back to the pages of whatever stupid rag you got them from, please.
Fact. The government - whichever party happened to be in power at the time - have, over many years, forced universities to look to the overseas market to raise enough finance to keep the high quality of their courses.
Fact. This ridiculous immigration legislation is just one part of the triple whammy, alongside general cuts in funding and the highly insidious ELQ (Equivalent Level Qualification) limitation - where a university cannot any longer receive any money for any UK or EU student doing a course that is equivalent to one they already have. You want to be one of those bankers or people from some other sector who are supposed to be recruited into teaching? Sorry mate, we have to charge you £11,000 for that PGCE because you got a Masters degree in biochemistry 20 years ago. You need to retrain in a different job to keep your skills up to date? Sorry, that'll be £11,000 for that BA in physiotherapy because the government won't give the university any money for your educaiton because 30 years ago you got a 3rd in Fine Art at Bangor. Note: most universities are trying to cover these costs at the moment - though not all (Manchester has stopped doing so for undergraduate degrees). How are they doing this? Through subsidising them by overseas students income. They won't keep doing this for ever.
Fact. Overseas students are keeping the cost of YOUR retraining and YOUR kids' education down. If they stop coming, fees will rise to make up the difference.
Fact. Without doing these things the quality of UK higher education will collapse and the future of this country, culturally, intellectually, and economically, will be more f*cked than it already is. AND THAT IS WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT ARE MAKING HAPPEN.
(who actually works in a university with responsibility for recruitment onto my educational technology course, and is quite prepared to go on the record here, unlike the ridiculous 'Anonymous Cowards')