Carol Monaghan, a member of the UK parliament, has kicked against the country’s new immigration rules for foreign students.
The Home Office, on Tuesday, announced that international students would no longer be able to bring family members with them from 2024.
The UK also said overseas students would be stopped from switching from the student visa route to a work visa until their studies have been completed.
Speaking at parliament on Wednesday, Monaghan said the students and their families made valuable contributions to the UK, contributing £40 billion to the economy in 2022.
She said the international students enrich the UK society as they have skills which have proved useful across key sectors.
“With labour shortages in healthcare, STEM, IT, to name a few, how can the minister fail to recognise that this policy will aggravate these? I’d like to ask the minister, what assessments have been carried out on the economic impact of this change on the university sector?
“The reality is that many students who come into the UK look beyond their studies and want their families to be part of their experience.
“Without a way for overseas students to bring their families, many will opt to go elsewhere and any drop in international students numbers will cause further harm to universities that are already facing financial difficulties.”
Meanwhile, universities across the UK had also opposed the country’s new immigration rules.
The Universities UK International (UUK), a body of universities, had said the move was a threat to the country’s global success as a top destination for international talent.
“International students make an invaluable contribution to our universities and to the UK’s economy. Building on the government’s explicit commitments and ambitions, which were clearly set out in the international education strategy, we have seen significant growth since 2019,” Jamie Arrowsmith, UUK director, said.