The Truth about Immigration – The migrants you don’t hear about in the tabloids


4:01 pm - November 23rd 2009

by Unity    


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Fact: The population of the UK rose by 3.737 million people between 1990 and 2007.

Fact: Total net migration to the UK between 1990 and 2007 was 2.097 million, 56% of the total increase in population. Of that figure, 1.859 million stems from the period from 1997-2007.

Fact: Between 1997 and 2007, 1.292 million people were granted the right to settle in the UK.

Fact: Between 1997 and 2007, 1.646 million former migrants became British Citizens.

Fact: Net immigration rose significantly under New Labour. There is no denying that fact.

For some people those figures, alone, are sufficient reason to put up the shutters and declare that Britain is full, even if they barely scratch the surface when it comes to telling the real story of immigration over the last 12-18 years.

For example, although total net migration amounts to 1.859 million between 1997 and 2007, the number of people currently living in the UK with full settlement rights has risen by only 480,000. Britain is a net exporter of its own citizens, 811,000 in the period from 1997-2007 on top of the 297,000 (net) who left the UK between 1991 and 1996. So somewhere in the world right now, possibly Spain, someone is sitting down to read today’s copy of the Daily-o Mail-o and complaining bitterly to themselves about all the bloody Brits who’ve been going over there to take their jobs.

Migration is not a zero sum game. The net increase in Britain’s migrant population stems from population movements involving 12.454 million people between 1991 and 2007 (9.076 million since 1997) into and out of the UK. Of the 4.586 million foreign nationals who entered the UK between 1997 and 2007, 1.838 million had moved on by the end of 2007 and a further 1.51 million were still here only on a temporary basis, including 454,000 whose immigration status remains uncertain as they await a ruling on an asylum application. Of those pending applications, the data suggests that. A quarter, may be granted the right to settle or extended leave to remain in the UK, although it may be less than that as the UK tightens its approach to dealing to asylum seekers and most may eventually have to leave.

Once you drill down into the data, past the few scraps of information that make the tabloid headlines, the picture becomes ever more complex. It’s that picture we are endeavouring to present.

Why do migrants come to the UK?

To make any sense of the patterns of net migration to the UK since 1991 its important to understand why so many people come to the UK. The main reason are covered by the two graphs below, the first showing total inward migration for the periods 1991-1996, 1997-2002 and 2003-2007, the second the net migration over those same time periods.

What interesting here, to begin with, is that the figures for inward migration are so different for the periods from 1991-1996, under a Conservative government, as they are for the periods 1997-2002 and 2003-2007, under New Labour. Inward migration has gone up under New Labour, certainly, but it was still relatively high under the last Conservative government, when 1.8 million people entered the UK over a six year period as migrants.

Where things differ markedly is when we come to look at the figures for net migration, which show, amongst other thing, that Britain moved from being a net exporter of labour under the Tories to a net importer under New Labour. Well, there was a recession in the early 1990s followed by a fairly unprecedented period of sustained economic growth, so that’s only really what you’d expect.

What may surprise people, however, is what the second graph has to tell us about the nature of the single biggest source of net migration to the UK over this entire period, because its not asylum seekers or migrant workers, as many may well believe if they rely on the tabloids for their information. It’s not even family formation, foreign nationals entering the UK as spouses or dependants; although on that score Britain has been a much more hospitable place under New Labour than it ever as under the Tories.

No, the single biggest source of net migration to the UK since 1991 is students, people entering the UK to undertake a course of formal study, a total of 1.34 million since 1991, 1.15 million of which occurred under New Labour.

These are the migrants you’ll rarely, if ever, hear about in the Daily Mail.

Migration and Education

We can easily see why students make up by far the largest number of net migrants to the UK over this period (60% since 1991, 56% since 1997) from this graph, which looks at the growth in student numbers in perhaps the most important education sector (fiscally speaking), higher education.

Overall, the numbers entering Britain’s universities have risen significantly since 1997 (sadly, there’s no readily available data for 1991-1996); by around 25% in the case of both UK and EU students, give or take dip in the latter between 2002 and 2004 but by 118% in the case of students from outside the EU (the graph shows index numbers with 1997=100).

The number of non-EU overseas students studying for degree-level at British universities more than doubled over the period from 1997 to 2007, and particularly from 2000 onwards, when the rate of growth really began to accelerate to the point where, by 2007, overseas students make up 1 in 7 of all students in Higher Education in the UK (239,000 rising to 351,000 in total when you include those from the EU).

With the exception of a relatively small number of overseas students studying her on UK scholarship, these are fee-paying students around half of which are studying for post-graduate qualifications. For a student from the EU, annual fees vary from £3,225 for an undergraduate degree at a University in England to anything up to £14,000 a year for a postgraduate degree, while a non-EU can expect pay anything from £5,655 to £20,400 a year for an undergraduate degree, depending on institution and course, while annual fees for a postgraduate weigh in at between £7,300 and £31,500. Typically, universities in London, Oxford, Cambridge and the ‘red brick’ and specialist universities charge the highest fees, with science, medicine/veterinary medicine and business courses tending to the most expensive overall.

Overall, overseas students will put an estimated£2.83 billion in tuition fees into the UK’s Higher Education sector in 2009/10, around a third of the sector’s revenues from that particular source. Overseas students not only pay their way but they contribute more than double their share of tuition fee revenues relative to their actual numbers, effectively subsidising the education provide to British students to the tune of around £1.5 billion a year.

Over the last 12 years, the ten subject areas attracting the greatest percentage growth in overseas students are shown in this graph.

Interestingly, when looking at the detailed course data it apparent that EU students studying the UK are twice as likely to opt for courses in business and administration or engineering and technology than their UK counterparts, while non-EU students are three times more likely to study one of those two fields. British students are, however, much more likely to study for a degree in education or in the biological sciences than their non-EU counterparts, the former saying much about the role of government’s funded financial incentives for would-be teachers, the latter possibly an oblique commentary on attitudes to evolution elsewhere in the world.

Looking beyond higher education, figures provided by the British Council, which promotes British education overseas, indicate that there are currently over 21,000 overseas students who parents live outside the UK studying in the UK at fee-paying schools in the independent sector. 32% of these come from China and Hong Kong, with a further 14% from Germany and 10% from the rest of Europe (excluding France and Spain). The average fee, per term, at an independent boarding school in the UK is currently £7,747, giving an estimated annual income for the independent schools sector of £496 million a year.

As for further education, figures also provided by the British Council show that there were around 76,000 overseas students studying at publically funded FE colleges in the UK in 2007/8, a fall of 6,000 from 2002/3, with the number of non-EU students falling from 61,000 to 36,000 as many of them move on to British universities. These figures do not include overseas students studying in the UK at private FE colleges and ‘feeder’ colleges for the top universities, for which no reliable data is available.

A study (pdf) published by the British Council in 2007 estimated the total export value of education to the British economy in 2003/4 at £27.71 billion, including revenues from private sector training, consultancy and educational-related goods and services, of which £8.6 billion was derived from educating foreign students in the UK and overseas via distance learning programmes, both of which are classed as exports. It also estimated that for every £1 of revenue from tuition fees paid by overseas students, the education sector receives a further £1.25 in additional education spending, putting the estimated value of overseas students to the British economy this year at £6.36 billion.

You might that an industry putting up numbers at that scale would be left to carry on with business as usual, especially during an economic recession, even if it means further increases in net migration but you’d be wrong. A little over a month ago, The Guardian reported that ‘thousands of university places could be left unfilled and institutions millions of pounds out of pocket, because high fee-paying international students are being blocked from starting degrees under a new visa system’. It reported that as many as 14,000 students from Pakistan, alone, were likely to be unable to begin their courses on time due to a backlog in processing visa applications, forcing universities to video lectures in order permit students to begin their studies while still waiting to enter the UK.

The Guardian article also put the figure for income from tuition fees from foreign students at around £4 billion based on figures from UKCISA, higher than my own estimate but maybe more accurate as its based on exact figures for numbers of student per course and an institution where my estimates are extrapolated from averages and are likely, therefore, to be conservative.

Fears of Islamic extremists entering the UK from Pakistan have obviously played a role in creating this situation but that appears to offer little comfort to the Vice-Chancellors of British Universities who are fearful that delays caused by the UK Borders Agency could badly affect student numbers and damage the reputation of the UK Higher Education sector overseas, particularly in the Indian sub-continent, which is one of the sector’s most important markets.

What happens to migrants when they finish their education?

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to say.

There are major shortcomings in the available data on migration, none more so than the disconnection between the data on inflows and outflows/outcomes. We know how many migrants have entered the UK to further their education in recent years and we know that there’s a sizeable discrepancy between that figure (1.34 million net from 1991, 1.6 million in total) and the number we know to be in education in the UK at the present time; 456,0oo plus an unknown number in private FE colleges, feeder colleges or in private education.

Many, and exactly how many is uncertain, will still be living and working in the UK, some legally and some not, having overstayed. Some will have settled permanently in the UK having married a British citizen or the right to settle after being in continuous employment in the UK for more than five years – and some of these may, by now, be British citizens themselves.

Some will have settled here having applied for and received asylum. Others will undoubtedly still be stuck in the asylum system either waiting for decision or appealing a decision to turn down their application.

Some will have moved on to continue their education elsewhere in world and some will be among 1.5 million who’ve left the UK for a job elsewhere in the world or the 910,000 who’ve chanced their armleft to seek work without a definite job to go to.

And some will have, of course, returned to their homeland taking the skills and knowledge gained in the UK with them.

What we can say, in regards to those who are still living in the UK, whether continuing their studies, or working and/or having settled into family life in this country is that with government projections suggesting that there may be only 900,000 unskilled jobs in the UK economy by 2o20 and 20.7% of the adult population lacking the degree of literacy necessary to work out the correct amount of medicine to give a child from the label on the packet, any government with designs on the UK making its way in the the world as a high-tech knowledge will be relying heavily on the UK’s higher education system to continue to draw in, and retain, the brightest and best that the world has to offer.

That’s an immigration story you’re unlikely to read in the tabloids. Later this week, we’ll move on to part three of the series and look at what’s been happening with asylum seekers and the asylum system.

The introduction to this series is posted here.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


Genuine question – why did you choose the period 1990 – 2007, (and then differentiating between 1997 – 2007, and 1990 – 1997)? As immigration generally goes down, and emigration up (especially of temporary residents who are foreign nationals) during a recession, if you’d picked 1990 – 2009, the story might’ve been different. Similarly it’s worth noting that 1990 – 1997 included a major recession, whereas 1997 – 2007 didn’t include a British recession (although it did include a recession elsewhere in Europe).

I wonder how many were enrolled into this kind of college?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6088256.ece

What we can say, in regards to those who are still living in the UK, whether continuing their studies, or working and/or having settled into family life in this country is that with government projections suggesting that there may be only 900,000 unskilled jobs in the UK economy by 2o20 and 20.7% of the adult population lacking the degree of literacy necessary to work out the correct amount of medicine to give a child from the label on the packet, any government with designs on the UK making its way in the the world as a high-tech knowledge will be relying heavily on the UK’s higher education system to continue to draw in, and retain, the brightest and best that the world has to offer.

Or we might just have a go at educating that 21% a little better?

Do I really have to read all of that?

Can’t I just trot out some of my prejudices please? 🙂

Good stuff, Unity!!!!

Tim:

Because that the period for which the most overlapping data is available.

There’s little or no useful data on immigration pre-dating 1990/91 and much of the 2008 data has yet to be published.

The story of the recession will have to be written in a couple of years time when the numbers come in, although I’d expect that in some respects thing will resemble the early 90’s, especially when it comes to economic migration.

cjcjc:

Who knows – there is no data on private FE colleges, etc, so its impossible to do the numbers.

I would, however, be cautious about placing too much store in what Phil Woollas is saying – the Borders Agency has screwed up on student visas (as usual) and unverifiable tales of fake colleges make for good cover.

This is from Bill Rammell, two years ago –

“As the Enforcement Strategy recognises, my department already works closely with the Home Office to stop fake colleges operating and prevents bogus students from entering the UK. 40% of all new applications to join the Register fall at the first hurdle, because they cannot meet the conditions for entry. We also have applications pending from 250 colleges which have not been able to meet the requirements of the Register, and we think are unlikely to do so.

“Our message to those who think it is easy to set up a fake college and recruit fake students is that we are on your case – don’t even think about it.”

http://www.publicservice.co.uk/article.asp?publication=Central%20Government&id=253&content_name=Communications&article=7729

Colleges have to be registered before visas can be issued to overseas students who claim to have been offer places to study at them.

Also, genuine universities and colleges notice when unusual numbers of students from one particular country are suddenly meeting criteria compared to previous years. As happened with large numbers of suitable Nigerian applicants when I used to work for the Business School in a UK university. It was pretty damn obvious to administrators that these were unlikely to be genuine students.

It’s really not that easy to sneak in as a bogus student.

6. Curious Freedom

Now for some uncomfortable facts.

And the fact is that these student visas are seen by many, and with much evidence, as merely another bogus backdoor into the UK. Figures show that this stream of bogus immigration adds 100,000 a year to the population.

The number of foreign students granted permission to stay for a year or more has trebled to 110,000 a year since Labour came to power.

But annually only 10,000 go home – a ratio of 11 arrivals for every departure.

In fact it is absurd to even think for one moment that so many students would in reality need to come to the UK to study when you consider that the UK has only 116 universities whereas the two countries getting the most UK student visas China had 2236 in 2004, and India is estimated to have over 8400.

This is without factoring in all of the other higher education facilities too, of which no doubt, these countries are also abundant in.

For once, the so-called opposition summed it up correctly:

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘It looks as if the student visa system is an open door for people who really want to come and live in Britain.

‘We want to encourage legitimate students to our universities, but it really is time the system was tightened up so it can’t be abused any more.’

Immigration minister Phil Woolas admitted in March this year that student visas were the Achilles heel of the immigration system.

Tony Millns, of teaching association English UK, recently told MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee that there could be ‘tens of thousands’ of bogus students claiming to be at non-existent colleges, often based in a single room above a shop.

The committee’s Labour chairman, Keith Vaz, accused ministers of an ‘unacceptable and unbelievable’ failure to act despite knowing about the problem of bogus colleges for more than a decade.

The MPs also said that such colleges can hoodwink the Home Office because they are almost always informed of inspections in advance. This gives them time to assemble classrooms full of ‘students’ and ‘lecturers.’

It is widely accepted and supported by much evidence then, that this explosion in ‘student visas’ is just another bogus route into the UK. And one that has many costs.

Indeed up to 50,000 UK students have been denied places at British universities this year while the number of non-European students given places has doubled over the last ten years.

Figures published earlier this year by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show that tens of thousands of British students have missed out on university after applications increased but places were cut because of the Government’s cash crisis.

A new study titled “The Patterns of Higher Education Institutions in the UK” by Professor Geoffrey Crossick of Universities UK has found a 48 percent increase in the number of international students between the years 2000 and 2006.
According to the report, in 2007/08 some 229,640 students came from outside the European Union, compared with 117,290 in 1998/99. Students from China remained the “most significant” number.

These are some of the facts on the student visa route into the UK.

@cjcjc

Answer: none.

Unity is, I presume, using HESA data from the Student Record which only records students at accredited HE institutions. (Incidentally, I think I have the data from 1991 to 1997 that Unity might want if so – drop me a line Unity if you need it, although I probably can’t get it to you until later in the week)

@Curious Freedom

I am at a loss to understand how you feel that a lot of home students not getting into university because we’re unable to fund places for them is linked to international students, who pay full economic cost, also getting places through other routes.

To reiterate, international students at accredited UK universities are not the same as people sold dodgy courses at dicey colleges. That they exist is not in question. There’s even a register kept by the UKBA of colleges that have been busted. That they are not covered by Unity’s article is also obvious to anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about.

The Daily Mail article you cite as ‘evidence’ (here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1208816/Overseas-student-surge-hits-110-000-And-tenth-decide-theyll-stay-Britain.html, for people who like their information sourced) conflates the fact that a lot of international first degree students do appalling things like take postgraduate courses (more money for us), or get jobs (the horror! Foreign nurses!) with bogus college attendees (don’t forget that a lot of these people have been conned), who are not on university rolls in a typically dishonest Mailesque way.

It also (probably deliberately) ignores schemes like Fresh Talent : http://www.scotlandistheplace.com/stitp/276.html (designed to arrest problems with Scottish skills shortages), and the unpalatable fact for the Mail that this scheme has now, since 2008, been effectively extended to the whole UK through the points-based system.

Sorry, failed to properly debunk Curious Orange there

Home student places are funded independently of international student places. The former are part-funded by Government through the HE Funding Councils, the quangos even the Tories (except Reform, who know even less than your average CiF commentator about HE) like because they do nasty, difficult, politically uncomfortable things politicians don’t like to take responsibility for.

International students essentially fund themselves completely. So international students don’t take home student places (the implication being made). In fact, they help fund them. More international students = richer university.

Actually, we generally treat international students appallingly, but that is a very different issue.

One thing that does give me comfort for the next couple of years is that one person who does understand all this stuff perfectly well is David Willetts. He’s going to do a good job if he’s allowed to.

Nice example of selective reporting there…

What the HAC concluded was…

14. Colleges not on the register of sponsors will no longer be able to facilitate student visas; however we are concerned about the number of illegal immigrants who may already have entered the UK on fraudulent student visas, the numbers of which could be in the tens of thousands.

That said, checking your information, which from The Times (link please in future, it makes life easier) did lead me to English UK which states, on a press release relating to Tony Milns appearance before the committee:

More than 500,000 students every year choose to learn English in Britain, an
estimated 43% of all students who travel abroad to study English. They contribute about £1.5 billion to the UK economy in course fees,
accommodation and general spending. Many students go on from English
language courses to UK degrees or professional qualifications. There are
long-term affinity benefits to Britain as well since many students go on to be
opinion-leaders and senior figures in their own countries.

There’s a large chunk of the apparent discrepancy between inflows and outflows – students entering the UK to learn English before going on to university.

Its also worth noting that the main body of the HAC report actually misrepresents the evidence it was given, stating that:

10. The Minister of State for Borders and Immigration told us that the Home Office issues around 200,000 student visas each year. Witnesses were unable to give an accurate estimate as to how many of these students entered the country via bogus colleges but the Chief Executive of English UK, Tony Millns, said “it could be tens of thousands quite easily”.

In fact, the oral evidence relating to this figure runs as follows:

Q6 Chairman (Vaz): Covering how many students [at bogus colleges]?

Mr Millns: That again is extremely difficult to say. The whole problem with this area is that there is no Association of Bogus Language Schools to speak for them, so it is rather difficult to a get a handle on it. Some of them are undoubtedly very small with possibly only 20 or 30 students, but the problem is that of course until the end of March this year they were, if they were on the Register of Education and Training Providers maintained by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, able to bring in international students who required visas, and it is simply unknown how many of those students they might have bought in over the last four, five or six years.

Q7 Chairman: Are we talking about numbers of hundreds?

Mr Millns: It could be tens of thousands quite easily.

Q8 Chairman: There are tens of thousands of bogus students in this country at the moment?

Mr Millns: Quite easily.

Milns ‘tens of thousands is both a piece of guesswork and a figure given initially as an estimate of the numbers of bogus students accumulated over a period of 4-6 years and subsequently confirmed as being, possibly, the total number in the UK.

What this demonstrates, if this were not already perfectly apparent, is that Keith Vaz is a cunt, and no more trustworthy than Woollas.

10. Curious Freedom

@ Ken McKenzie

*“I am at a loss to understand how you feel that a lot of home students not getting into university because we’re unable to fund places for them is linked to international students…”*

I am at loss that you do not seem to understand that point was that this nasty anti-British government is allowing 50,000 British students who are undoubtedly genuine to be turned down on the grounds of lack of funds when they manage to find inordinate sums to prop up the streams of bogus asylum seekers pouring into this country (that is every single one of them who has passed through a safe country to get here) as well as the billion pound a year ‘aid’ to India, just for instance, that allows them to have a space programme whilst we do not.

By allowing just these two examples whilst denying their own young people an education is a disgrace.

Allowing foreigners to pay for places is no answer and will not help our kids in any way at all.

*“To reiterate, international students at accredited UK universities are not the same as people sold dodgy courses at dicey colleges. That they exist is not in question.”*

Glad to see you have some common sense and are not the type to claim all immigration is either beyond question or surrounded by nothing but lies.

Mind you, it would be difficult to claim that on the student visa issue when the Labour government minister in charge who would clearly most benefit from that rubbish is forced to make these comments:

“In my estimation abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/5083517/Bogus-colleges-are-Achilles-Heel-of-immigration-system-say-Phil-Woolas.html

That article goes on to say about these learning establishments:

‘Of the 5,000 thought to take foreign students only 2,100 have so far applied to have their credentials checked. And of those 460 have been rejected.

Frank Field MP co-chairman of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration, said: “This is a worrying but not totally astonishing revelation. While Ministers are right to tighten the immigration system, this uncovers the shambles that they have allowed to develop – a huge number of dodgy colleges, some of which are simply designed to get round immigration controls.”

*“The Daily Mail article you cite as ‘evidence’*

Actually you are using the Daily Mail as the source, not me! I got my information from several sources. But I really love your hate campaigns against the Daily Mail when pretty much every media outlet is just as guilty of just as much inaccuracy. Not just politically inspired bias is it?

But anyhow, just how many of these students really are ‘first class degree’ students and ‘nurses’ then? 100,000 of them each year?

And in any case, even if it was possible that they were, to apply for another visa under the new rules you must first leave the country first, yet of 110,000 only 10,000 actually are, so clearly that is just more rubbish.

*“and the unpalatable fact for the Mail that this scheme has now, since 2008, been effectively extended to the whole UK through the points-based system.”*

I am afraid that the unpalatable fact about this ‘new and tough points system’ is that it is just as much a fantasy as all of the other Labour crap on immigration.

The UK Border Agency had said it believed the total number of students was “roughly the same” as last year.

Jacqui Smith promised that the new system would “raise the bar” and lead to “fewer migrants coming to the UK from outside the EU”.

These lies were exposed by BBC Radio 5 live Donal MacIntyre programme following a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office.

They found that in just 8 weeks 19,950 student visa had been issued to Indians alone!
Last year 6,771 visas were issued in the same period.

The new figures meant an increase of approximately 5% of the total student population in the UK in just two months!

The BBC said ‘earlier this month, immigration officers told BBC Radio 5 live they feared more bogus students are arriving in the UK under the new system, partly because of the large volume of arrivals which must be processed.

Officers said a significant number of those arriving on student visas had previously been denied entry to the UK, and they suspected that many had come here to work and not study.
One Heathrow-based whistleblower told the Donal MacIntyre programme that many so-called students could not speak English, and knew nothing about the courses they claimed to be studying.’

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8368709.stm

This is the reality and truth of the so-called student visa system.

11. chairman moo

hmmm…”heavyweight immigration expose”..39 posts…erm, I mean 39-28=11 posts..so far…really caught the imagination and lived up to the big ‘launch’ eh?

Liberal Conspiracy = floundering irrelevant and collapsing under the weight of its pseudo-left pretensions. Only seems to come alive when some nutter’s throwing around ‘identity theft allegations.

Obviously it’s probably someone else posting this..kinda goes without saying around here doesn’t it?

Come and see my show.

@10

So much ignorance, so little time…

Allowing foreigners to pay for places is no answer and will not help our kids in any way at all.

Without the income from foreign students either:

a) tuition fees for UK students would have to rise by between £1,600 and £2,500 per year, or

b) the basic rate of income tax would need to rise by 2%

…in order to sustain the current number of HE places on offer to UK students.

‘Of the 5,000 [independent learning establishments] thought to take foreign students only 2,100 have so far applied to have their credentials checked. And of those 460 have been rejected.

It was 4,000 (HAC report) and one cannot infer anything from the fact that a fairly significant number were either rejected or chose not to apply for registration under the new scheme. Many of the smallest such institutions would have baulked at the increase costs/bureaucracy that registration. Others would have been ‘bogus’ only in the sense of offering a sub-standard education.

I’ll ignore Frank Field’s comments – he’s about as reliable as Vaz.

pretty much every media outlet is just as guilty of just as much inaccuracy

Hence the need for this series – it is, however, interesting to note that all your sources appear to be those unreliable media outlets.

But anyhow, just how many of these students really are ‘first class degree’ students and ‘nurses’ then? 100,000 of them each year?

That doesn’t even cover the number of overseas students currently in postgraduate education.

They found that in just 8 weeks 19,950 student visa had been issued to Indians alone!
Last year 6,771 visas were issued in the same period.

The new figures meant an increase of approximately 5% of the total student population in the UK in just two months!

What about the data for the other 44 weeks of the year? Don’t suppose you’re familiar with the term ‘regression to the mean’ are you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_to_the_mean

I think you’ve facepalmed there…

One Heathrow-based whistleblower told the Donal MacIntyre programme that many so-called students could not speak English

Hardly surprising when over 500,000 students come to the UK to learn English

Jeebus.

“A little over a month ago, The Guardian reported that ‘thousands of university places could be left unfilled and institutions millions of pounds out of pocket, because high fee-paying international students are being blocked from starting degrees under a new visa system’. It reported that as many as 14,000 students from Pakistan, alone, were likely to be unable to begin their courses on time due to a backlog in processing visa applications,”

Hmmm. Any idea why that might be?

Oh, it seems you have:

“Fears of Islamic extremists entering the UK from Pakistan have obviously played a role in creating this situation”

Which, to be honest, isn’t exactly earth shattering, is it? I don’t know what was the point of including this in your article.

@6. Curious Freedom

Copy paste from the BNP blog much?

15. Curious Freedom

@ Unity

**“So much ignorance, so little time…”**

I wouldn’t put everything you say down to ignorance. There are other factors at play too.

**“Without the income from foreign students either:

a) tuition fees for UK students would have to rise by between £1,600 and £2,500 per year, or

b) the basic rate of income tax would need to rise by 2%”**

Yes, it would be doomsday!

Is that a fact? And where does this projection come from? A media source you do trust I hope. One that is politically acceptable and affirming I pray.

The fact is it is all just more hot air. Why exactly would tuition fees have to rise when the places being denied to British students are being filled by foreign ones in any case.

Why would income tax have to rise by 2%? To pay for what exactly? More foreign wars that have nothing to do with the UK? Bail out more banks and pay for more bonuses?

How about we cut the £1b ‘aid’ to India if we are really in such dire straits for a start and let them finance their own space programme.

One astute Indian media outlet, the Calcutta Telegraph puts it thus:

“Many Britons feel that their country cannot afford to lavish £825 million on India over three years. The previous five years’ aid of £1,045 million raised fewer hackles because Britain was not then in the dumps and India was not so exuberant either. Denis MacShane, a junior foreign office minister in Tony Blair’s government, puts it diplomatically. “The taxpayer has given more than £1 billion of aid to India even though that great country has more billionaires and millionaires than Britain and runs its own well-financed development aid programme…

Surrendering British aid would remove an unnecessary irritant. It would also be good for India’s self-respect.”

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090822/jsp/opinion/story_11386845.jsp

In fact if really we are in such dire straits that we cannot put our own young through university due to lack of funds and would really need to raise taxes as you claim we should scrap all ‘foreign aid’. Most it goes to waste anyway.

In 2007 for example we gave £90 million and £40 million directly to the governments of Tanzania and Uganda respectively even though at least 20% of procurement spending in these countries is lost to corruption.

Next year we plan to give away £7.7b more of those taxes you cite, that is seven times the NHS deficit; so we don’t really need to be raising taxes at all, just to be managing them to our own benefit.

**“It was 4,000 (HAC report) and one cannot infer anything from the fact that a fairly significant number were either rejected or chose not to apply for registration under the new scheme”**

Are you serious?

One cannot infer anything from the fact that significant numbers have been rejected?! Or that significant numbers have refused to apply for registration?!

I think one can infer everything one needs to know from that information, actually.

**“I’ll ignore Frank Field’s comments – he’s about as reliable as Vaz.”**

I notice the left does a raging trade in ‘ignoring’ sources they don’t like, be it media or individuals.

I don’t particularly like Vaz as he is corrupt, but given his own passport scam and others, I think he just might have an insight into this problem.

But I think moreover the question needs to be asked: What in reality would Field or Vaz have to gain by lying about this issue?

And why would the governments own minister in charge of this shambles put his neck on the line by admitting that in his estimation the “abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls.”?

**“Hence the need for this series – it is, however, interesting to note that all your sources appear to be those unreliable media outlets.”**

Again back to the childish tactic of ‘ignoring’ media outlets that you are politically opposed too. The inaccuracies are almost always in interpretation and not based upon out and out fraud. The reports they cite are almost always real and you can obtain copies and check the data for yourself.

**“That doesn’t even cover the number of overseas students currently in postgraduate education.”**

You seem to misunderstand. 110,000 were arriving each year with only 10,000 leaving each year.

Any new course, any new job, any change in fact and the student is required to leave the country to obtain a new visa. That is not happening. 100,000 each are staying each year.

**“What about the data for the other 44 weeks of the year?”**

There are cited to be around 410,000 students in the UK currently so the approximate figure of 5% is accurate.

**“I think you’ve facepalmed there…”**

I think you wanting it to be so and it actually being a reality is very far removed.

**“Hardly surprising when over 500,000 students come to the UK to learn English”**

Where is your source for that figure and what is is the time frame?

But that same immigration officer does elaborate:

“The immigration officer told BBC Radio 5 live about a recent case of an Indian woman in her 50s who presented herself as a student enrolling on an advanced course, despite the fact that she could barely speak English.

“She was going to do an ACCA accounting course, of which when asked in Hindi what ACCA meant, she didn’t have a clue,” he said.

“She wasn’t even able to say in her own language what the course was going to entail.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8332314.stm


@ Alex

**“Copy paste from the BNP blog much?”**

The source is actually from an independent report entitled” The Patterns of Higher Education Institutions in the UK” by Professor Geoffrey Crossick of Universities UK.

Or is he another inconvenient source you would like to ignore?

Students really should be excluded entirely from this discussion since they are, by definition, temporary migrants only. They are all supposed to return after their course of study. Students, unlike entrants on work permits, have no right to claim permanent residence after x years (x being a politically-dependent variable).

They are only considered to be ‘migrants’ because of the UN definition that defines a migrant as someone intending to stay for more than 12 months.

Students can become migrants once they change immigration status, e.g. by successfully claiming asylum or by obtaining a work permit, but failing that they remain temporary residents whilst still compliant with their visa terms and illegal aliens once that ceases to be the case.

It is nonsense to claim that students are the ‘biggest source of net migration into the UK’.

Curious Freedom,

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought our recording of emmigration was said by nearly everyone to have been a complete utter shambles? That essentially we didn’t know whether people had left or not.

18. Curious Freedom

@ Dan dare

**“Students really should be excluded entirely from this discussion since they are, by definition, temporary migrants only.”**

Except if you actually look at the actual evidence they are not. That is what has been made very apparent in the facts above.

Even the presiding government, the very people responsible for this mess, has had to admit “the abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls.”

**“They are all supposed to return after their course of study.”**

Except that hugely significant numbers don’t do what they are supposed to do because they didn’t come here to do what they were supposed to do in the first place.

And that is exactly the problem we are faced with and are talking about!

Are you serious?

**“They are only considered to be ‘migrants’ because of the UN definition that defines a migrant as someone intending to stay for more than 12 months.”**

In fact they are largely considered illegal immigrants because they came over on false pretences and stay as long as they damn well please, and with NI numbers too.

**“It is nonsense to claim that students are the ‘biggest source of net migration into the UK’.”**

It is nonsense for an internet commentator to claim he knows more then the government responsible for this shambles.

A government who would like to agree with you if it possibly could to avoid the backlash, if only the evidence of the reality wasn’t so abundant.


@ Douglas Clark

**“Correct me if I am wrong…”**

OK, I am correcting you then.

We do know the in’s and outs under this so-called ‘student visa’ programme and we do know under this ‘new and tough points system.’

“So somewhere in the world right now, possibly Spain, someone is sitting down to read today’s copy of the Daily-o Mail-o and complaining bitterly to themselves about all the bloody Brits who’ve been going over there to take their jobs.”

What a gross generalisation of the people who are leaving Britain – and even whilst generalisations can sometimes be useful, this is inaccurate.

The majority of British people who are leaving are families who are working. Families that committed little crime, familiies that claimed little or no benefit, families that generally worked hard and paid taxes to support our society.

Don’t believe me? The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said last year that the “brain drain”‘ was far greater in the UK than for any of its other 29 leading member countries with 1.1million men and women with higher education qualifications now living overseas in other developed countries – 10.3 per cent of the total. The report put the number of well-educated people lost by Britain well above Germany’s 860,000, the US’s 410,000 and France’s 370,000, according to the report.

Britain is now entering a dangerous spiral where higher tax rates are being levied on the middle and professional classes to fund an unproductive class who have chosen welfare as a lifestyle option (rather than the genuinely deserving vulnerable) and driving out the very people we need to keep – the people that are economically productive and will generate the taxes we need to pay for schools, hospitals, the NHS and welfare for the truly vulnerable and needy.

As the spiral progresses there will be less and less tax revenue to pay for welfare, education etc and more and more anger in the working classes and calls for higher taxes on the “rich” which fuel even greater emigration by the productive classes.

I’d be interested to see the brain drain figures for the period after the housing bubble burst.

Neil

Those OECD figures were for 2008 so the housing market was well on its way down then from the October 2007 peak.

More recently high earners are leaving in droves to Geneva etc ahead of the 50% tax rate coming in April (not just bankers and hedge funds, pharmas also).

You are right in so far that if this woeful spiral continues, the vast majority will end up too poor to emigrate anywhere.

Andy

higher tax rates are being levied on the middle and professional classes to fund an unproductive class who have chosen welfare as a lifestyle option

Bankers?

Financial Services are 31% of our economy (GDP) according to ONS. If that is an unproductive lifestyle option then be grateful for it.

As far as I can tell, the OECD report quoted here were released on 20th February 2008, which would mean the numbers were gathered through 2007 – or, the peak of the housing bubble…

Neil, those are aggregate numbers as at that date – but reflect emigration patterns forming those totals that occurred over many years.

Emigration might have slowed for some in the last two years – certainly for those unfortunate enough to be in negative equity. It has certainly accelerated for many others for whom there are now even more compelling reasons to leave the country.

Hmm, I’d prefer to see some actual numbers before saying any more on the subject.

“What a gross generalisation of the people who are leaving Britain – and even whilst generalisations can sometimes be useful, this is inaccurate.”

The irony is thick and fast here, isn’t it?

Indeed.

Andy J – re 19.

You do realise that the quote you’ve criticised is referring to the attitude of existing populations to immigrants, not to the attitudes of immigrants themselves, don’t you?

Phil H, the quote clearly generalises who British emigrants are (aswell as generalising their attitude to immigrants). And what is your response to the main point?

18. “Except that hugely significant numbers don’t do what they are supposed to do because they didn’t come here to do what they were supposed to do in the first place.”

Where are your figures to back this up?

“The fact is it is all just more hot air. Why exactly would tuition fees have to rise when the places being denied to British students are being filled by foreign ones in any case.”

It really sounds like you don’t believe that foreign students ARE paying full tuition fees, otherwise this statement is the most bizarre I’ve ever heard.

Your arguments also go against the very desires and wishes of the education sector nationwide, who actively foster relations in foreign countries BECAUSE of the money that those student immigrants bring to them and this country.

Andy:

The quote clearly lampoons the Daily Mail “stealing our jobs” attitude to immigration. As the author clearly doesn’t think that immigrants *are* stealing jobs, then it’s fairly safe to assume that he thinks British emigrants aren’t stealing jobs either.

My response to the main point: you’re a massive class snob. I’d take you far more seriously if you weren’t so clearly prejudiced.

33. Dick the Prick

I’m not sure chucking the word fact in front of something necessarily makes it so.

@Phil H

I agree entirely.

@Andy Jarm

“Britain is now entering a dangerous spiral where higher tax rates are being levied on the middle and professional classes to fund an unproductive class who have chosen welfare as a lifestyle option (rather than the genuinely deserving vulnerable)”

Given that the money spent on welfare dwarfs into comparison to those used in the BoE’s quantitive easing programme what is your opinion of this? Or has the Mail not done an article on that yet?

Any figures to back up your “welfare as a lifestyle option” or just more broad generalisations?

The level of economic illiteracy and implied advocation of protectionism in these comments is going to require Tim Worstall to have a lie down when he reads them.

Lets get this out in the open: cjcjcjcjcjcjcjc (sorry), curious freedom, chairman moo, mr f et al. Do you think it should be the policy of the British government to end or serverly restrict the amount of foreign nationals who come to the UK to study?

36. Curious Freedom

@ Lee Griffin

**“Where are your figures to back this up?”**

Already posted with links twice over in my previous comments; as is a quote from the minister in charge of this debacle admitting that “the abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls.”

Does pretty much everyone on this blog operate this way? Passing comment before actually properly reading what they are commenting on and then asking questions that have already been answered?

**“It really sounds like you don’t believe that foreign students ARE paying full tuition fees”**

The point was that those figures were unreferenced scare projections.

The point was as well that a certain amount of wealthy foreigners are always going to want to pay for prestige universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, but British university places are for British students first and foremost and it is the duty of the government to ensure that suitable candidates go forward, not squander our money on wars, bankers and “foreign aid.”

If after filling these places with suitable Britons there are places left over then there will always be foreign students to fill them.

**“otherwise this statement is the most bizarre I’ve ever heard.”**

Is it really? You are not exaggerating at all?

Then you really have led a sheltered life!

**“Your arguments also go against the very desires and wishes of the education sector nationwide”**

Well, for one, just because you say something doesn’t make it true, and for two, it is not up to the “desires and wishes of the education sector” to decide is allowed to come into the UK and what to do with a shambolic system that has been hugely abused as a conduit for illegal immigration.

**“who actively foster relations in foreign countries BECAUSE of the money that
those student immigrants bring to them and this country.”**

Again, read the comment you are responding to properly to see that beyond the universities, significant numbers of the so-called learning establishments are failing inspection or refusing to register, because they are totally bogus.

37. Curious Freedom

@ Planeshift

**“Do you think it should be the policy of the British government to end or serverly restrict the amount of foreign nationals who come to the UK to study?”**

I have clearly answered this already, but to summarise:

1) The British government has a duty first and foremost to Britons and to provide the necessary funds to ensure suitable British candidates for university that need financial help, get financial help to takes places in British universities first over anyone else.

2) When the system has and is been abused in such a massive way, it needs to be completely revamped with efficient and workable policies, procedures and checks to ensure that abuses ends. Clearly significant numbers of these students do not come here for their stated purpose so clearly the numbers need to be reduced to those that do.

“Already posted with links twice over in my previous comments”

Yet you gave nothing that actually evidentially backs up your claims, which is what I’m asking for.

“The point was as well that a certain amount of wealthy foreigners are always going to want to pay for prestige universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, but British university places are for British students first and foremost and it is the duty of the government to ensure that suitable candidates go forward, not squander our money on wars, bankers and “foreign aid.”

In which case taxes will have to rise, or students will have to pay more money. You don’t deny this I am sure?

Also, it’s not like there are “not enough places” to go around, universities and colleges have more than managed with the increase in student numbers, foreign or not, over the last decade. Space isn’t an issue, therefore government finances aren’t the barrier to stopping our beloved British students from taking part.

“Well, for one, just because you say something doesn’t make it true”

Of course, the fact it’s happening is true.

Feel free to do some more basic research for yourself.

“to decide is allowed to come into the UK and what to do with a shambolic system that has been hugely abused as a conduit for illegal immigration.”

Except you haven’t provided any figures that show what you’re claiming, so yes it is up to business to decide what to do in its own self interests, especially when those self interests benefit our economy so much.

“beyond the universities, significant numbers of the so-called learning establishments are failing inspection or refusing to register, because they are totally bogus.”

Yet this “loophole” has already been closed (or is in the process of being closed anyway) so…what exactly is your problem?

“When the system has and is been abused in such a massive way, it needs to be completely revamped with efficient and workable policies, procedures and checks to ensure that abuses ends.”

Can you also tell us what these people that have abused our immigration system have gone on to do? Are they all benefit scroungers in your eyes, do they have no economic benefit on this country whatsoever, or is the mere fact they’ve “abused” our system enough to show that they shouldn’t be here?

Anway, I’m confused. I thought having foreigners infiltrate our higher education establishments was a good thing. Well, such activity got a bye from the righties two days ago…

@Curious Freedom:

You seem to have missed the point I was making which is that students, not being eligible to apply for permanent settlement, are migrants only in the narrowest and technical senses.

In conflating the net migration estimates with the ‘real’ immigration statistics Unity has commited a basic schoolboy howler.

The proper definition of a migrant is someone who is admitted to the country on a direct track to permanent settlement, which is definitely not the case with students. Unity knows this but is introducing the red herring of students into the discussion for reasons best known to himself, but probably in an attempt to bolster the economic for immigration generally. It makes as much sense to call tourists migrants as it does students.

Now, I was not refuting your point that the student visa scheme, as presently administered, provides an open invitation to potential illegal immigration. The reality is that every year something like a quarter million non-EEA students are admitted, but nobody has a clue how many actually go home. It could be all, it could be none, or it could be some number in between. We just don’t know.

Unity

I haven’t read right through the piece, but I think that some of the data you are missing for 1990-1997 is available in these 2 Written Answers:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-09-03c.150669.h&s=overseas+students+1992#g150669.r0

and

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2008-02-25e.163768.h&s=overseas+students+1992#g163768.r0

Matt

43. Curious Freedom

@ Dan Dare

**“The reality is that every year something like a quarter million non-EEA students are admitted, but nobody has a clue how many actually go home. It could be all, it could be none, or it could be some number in between. We just don’t know.”**

We do have a pretty good idea, and I link to the figures above.

@CF

Kindly point out the figures you refer to, since I seem to have overlooked them. I am assuming that you’re claiming the figures will shed some light on the numbers of non-EEA students who stay on illegally once their visas expire.

45. Curious Freedom

@ Lee Griffin

And why the obvious contempt for “our beloved British students”, as you choose to express it?

46. Curious Freedom


@ Dan Dare

My apologies, they are contained below in this comment thats being deleted for some obscure reason.

Too many links, maybe?

@ Lee Griffin

**“Yet you gave nothing that actually evidentially backs up your claims, which is what I’m asking for.”**

Well, actually I did.

But anyway, the figures from ONS statistics drawn from the International Passenger Survey show 110,000 foreign students arrive each year but only 10,000 leave.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/Product.asp?vlnk=15054

I imagine you want a rerun of that statistic too so I will pre-empt it with a repeat of my answer to similar questions you are likely to now ask:

“Any new course, any new job, any change in fact and the student is required to leave the country to obtain a new visa. That is not happening. 100,000 each are staying each year.”

**“In which case taxes will have to rise, or students will have to pay more money. You don’t deny this I am sure?”**

Are you serious? I have already answered this at length above.

Why bother commenting on previous comments made if you do not even bother to read them properly?

**“Also, it’s not like there are “not enough places” to go around, universities and colleges have more than managed with the increase in student numbers, foreign or not, over the last decade”**

What utter rubbish.

Here are is the reality, from a media source even you might approve of:

“The government stands accused today of abandoning its commitment to get more school-leavers into university, triggering an unprecedented scramble for degree places when students discover their A-level results this morning….

Universities are warning that more courses than ever will be full by the end of today and the head of the university admissions system said the clearing system for allocating leftover places will be over within the week. Usually it takes up to a month.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/aug/20/a-levels-students-university-admissions

**“Space isn’t an issue, therefore government finances aren’t the barrier to stopping our beloved British students from taking part.”**

Again,utter rubbish.

Again, the reality:

“University applicants face the most intense competition ever after ministers capped student numbers in England to cut costs despite a 10% increase in applications, fuelled in part by the recession. It leaves a potential shortfall of 60,000 places.”

**“Of course, the fact it’s happening is true.”**

One obscure link to the “Teeside University business school” does not back up your bold claim that it is “the very desires and wishes of the education sector nationwide.”

**“Feel free to do some more basic research for yourself.”**

And yet you want me to spoon feed you with everything?

**“Except you haven’t provided any figures that show what you’re claiming”**

Yes I have several times and once again above.

Here is some more reality for you:

“THOUSANDS of foreign students bound for British universities are unaccounted for after being given UK entry visas.

Figures from only three universities show that almost 2,500 ¬candidates failed to turn up for their courses.

China, Saudi Arabia, India, Nigeria, Tanzania and Pakistan were among the countries where the highest number of missing applicants came from.

The shocking statistics will fuel concerns that foreigners are using student visas to bypass ¬immigration rules.

Last week a highly critical report from the Home Affairs select committee revealed that there may be up to 2,200 bogus UK colleges which have been set up purely to help immigrants enter the country….

The new figures show that, between 2005 and 2008, 1,436 ¬students failed to arrive at Solent University in Hampshire and 1,049 did not enrol at the Universities of Southampton and Winchester.”

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/117198/Migrants-go-missing-in-student-visa-scam-

**“Yet this “loophole” has already been closed (or is in the process of being closed anyway) so…what exactly is your problem?”**

Are you for real? What exactly is your problem? Seriously, do you even read the comment you respond to at all?

This has been dealt with thoroughly above.

Once again, just for you then Lee, the reality:

“I am afraid that the unpalatable fact about this ‘new and tough points system’ is that it is just as much a fantasy as all of the other Labour crap on immigration.

The UK Border Agency had said it believed the total number of students was “roughly the same” as last year.

Jacqui Smith promised that the new system would “raise the bar” and lead to “fewer migrants coming to the UK from outside the EU”.

These lies were exposed by BBC Radio 5 live Donal MacIntyre programme following a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office.

They found that in just 8 weeks 19,950 student visa had been issued to Indians alone!
Last year 6,771 visas were issued in the same period.

The new figures meant an increase of approximately 5% of the total student population in the UK in just two months!

The BBC said ‘earlier this month, immigration officers told BBC Radio 5 live they feared more bogus students are arriving in the UK under the new system, partly because of the large volume of arrivals which must be processed.

Officers said a significant number of those arriving on student visas had previously been denied entry to the UK, and they suspected that many had come here to work and not study.

One Heathrow-based whistleblower told the Donal MacIntyre programme that many so-called students could not speak English, and knew nothing about the courses they claimed to be studying.’

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8368709.stm

Thanks for that CF, but again this only only highlights the problems in taking a ‘pick’n’mix’ approach to the statistical evidence.

The 100,000 in and 10,000 out numbers are taken from the IPS which relies, I would contend, on a deeply flawed methodology, not least because the survey respondents are to a large degree self-selected. If you are hanging around at an airport and a survey lady shows up you are under no obligation to participate if you don’t wish to. It seems reasonable to conclude that if there is anything iffy about your immigration status there would be a natural reluctance to take part.

The 100,000 figure for arrivals is in itself highly dubious, since the Home Offices own Control of Immigration: Statistics reports confirm that over a quarter million people have entered the country on student visas in recent years.

So, I’m afraid the figures you presented just don’t fly.

As a general comment on the foreign student question, I think the crowding-out of prospective ‘native’ students is a demonstrable phenomenon, especially with respect to many of the more prestigious institutions. In 2008 non-EEA students comprised almost 50% of enrolments at the LSE, for example, and over 20% at a further 14 top-ranked institutions.

‘Indigenous’ students are under-represented at most of the top 50 universities, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

@CuriousFreedom

“But anyway, the figures from ONS statistics drawn from the International Passenger Survey show 110,000 foreign students arrive each year but only 10,000 leave”

I take it you are referring to Table 3.08, which looks at international migration by reasons for migration and citizenship.

That table tells you that 130,000 non-British citizens entered the country to engage in formal study.

It also tells you that 10,000 non-British citizens left the country to engage in formal study.

What it does not tell you is how many foreign students left the country. After foreign students have graduated from British universities and leave the country for reasons other than to study (e.g. to take up a job in their home country) who are in the IPS sample are asked “Why are you leaving the country?” they will respond with “I am leaving to look for work/take up a job/rejoin my family/go back to my home country”.

Your use of the data is only correct if you make the wild assumption that the only reason foreign students leave the country is to engage in further study elsewhere.

Fail.

“University applicants face the most intense competition ever after ministers capped student numbers in England to cut costs despite a 10% increase in applications, fuelled in part by the recession. It leaves a potential shortfall of 60,000 places”

2 points:

1. Isn’t this shortfall concentrated at undergrad level. And don’t most foreign students arrive here to complete Master courses (I don’t have stats for any of this unfortunately)

2. Isn’t the reason for the shortfall that every place taken up by a UK student must be subsidised by the Government. Therefore the number of places available to UK students are determined by the level of funding the Government decides to set. Foreign students pay a fee that enables universities to turn a profit from teaching them – won’t universities just expand the number of places to ensure they maximise their income from the UK government (number of UK student places that they fund) and foreign students?

And a third point is that there is cross-subsidisation of UK students from the income universities make from foreign students. As a result, I would not be surprised if foreign students increase the number of places available to UK student.

I am amazed you seem to be against a successful export (higher education for foreign students) that provides jobs for British workers, and provides income which subsidises UK students.

There may be valid concerns over whether they should be allowed to remain here once they finish their course (i.e. should they be given work permits or leave to remain), but being against foreign students seems a little silly.

Should we also ban tourists?

@CF

1. Your whole foreign students taking places from Brits is based on the lump of labour fallacy. University places awarded to fee-paying non-EU students are in addition to those taken up by Brits, which are also subsidised by the fees charged to non-EU students.

2. Inflows and outflows are disconnected in both TIM and IPS data so reasons for entry and reasons for leaving will not be the same. Someone who arrives as a student but leaves to take up a definite job will shows as student on the inflow data and an economic migrant on the outflow, only showing as a student on both if they leave to continue their studies outside the UK.

That’s why it appears that only 10% of overseas students leave the UK, because most of those who do leaving on completing their education leave for other reasons.

3. Capping of UK student numbers stems from limits on the amount of central government grant given to universities, which covers the majority of tuition costs.

The HE sector could easily accommodate an addition £50,000 British students, this year, if they were to pay the full costs of tuition, which is not far short of what the universities charge overseas students.

4. Sorry, you’re citing the Daily Express? And you also doing it selectively, hence you fail to point out this, from the same article…

A Solent University spokesman said: “Applicants apply to more than one university and get more than one offer. They then go to their preferred choice and fail to attend the others.”

UKBA director Jeremy Oppenheim added: “It is quite normal for students within the UK and from abroad to be offered a range of courses, only one of which they finally take up.

“This doesn’t mean they can get away without attending a course.

Don’t try to get away with cherry-picking – I invariably check sources.

And I notice that you’re still banging on about the 19,000 Indian visas having, my reference to regression to the mean having failed to register at all.

@Curious Freedom Re: Unity

Skip to 2:01

@DanDare

I would disagree with your point on foreign students “crowding out” UK students for the reasons I’ve already stated.

On my previous point (I said I didn’t have data on students) – The Higher Education Statistics Agency are a good source of data here, as they provide break-downs by country of origin (UK/EU/Other) and qualification obtained and subject studies http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_datatables&Itemid=121&task=show_category&catdex=3#quals

Their stats reveal that 60% of foreign students in the UK are studying at post-grad level. There are only 16,000 EU first degree students and 27,000 non-EU first degree students.

It is unclear that foreign masters students are crowding out UK masters students – especially as demand for masters courses is far lower from UK students (there is far less subsidy, and the labour market returns for most professions are weak for masters qualifications)

Someone might want to trawl these stats to glean more information – they’re a goldmine of information if you have the time.

In conflating the net migration estimates with the ‘real’ immigration statistics Unity has commited a basic schoolboy howler.

Not in the slightest – net migration is the correct metric to use for students precisely because many, if not most, are only temporary migrants, although temporary in this case could mean anything up to 20 years depending on when they begin their schooling in the UK and how far they take their education.

As such, they’re dealt with in this series because the numbers do impact on the kind of headline immigration figures quoted in the media, usually without appropriate qualification.

As I said on the other post, I’ll get on to settlement patterns later in the series when I look at the interaction between international and internal migration because the settlement debate lacks explanatory power without taking in account the regional difference.

There is a world of difference between what happening in Truro and what’s happening in Bradford, and it only that level the picture makes full sense.

53. Curious Freedom

@ Dan Dare

**“Thanks for that CF, but again this only only highlights the problems in taking a ‘pick’n’mix’ approach to the statistical evidence…”**

As I said, it gives a pretty good idea.

But I think we are straight back to that old trait of the left to disparage any source that doesn’t suit its arguments. If these figures had supported your contentions I have no doubt you would have embraced them like a drowning man.

The reason we don’t know precisely who is coming and going? Because the governments haven’t wanted us to know.

Why? Because they know it would have caused outrage.

@ sevillista

**“I take it you are referring to Table 3.08, which looks at international migration by reasons for migration and citizenship…”**

Same response to as to DD, really.

The figures are what they are and they show what they show. You can make all sorts of convoluted stories about them, but they are what they are and they are all we have because this government doesn’t want you to know the awful truth.

But the minister in charge does admit that “the abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls.”

So I would suggest that he was better placed to make that assessment, one that will have repercussions for him, then you are.

**“Isn’t this shortfall concentrated at undergrad level. And don’t most foreign students arrive here to complete Master courses (I don’t have stats for any of this unfortunately)”**

If you don’t have the stats then what are you basing that on?

**“Isn’t the reason for the shortfall that every place taken up by a UK student must be subsidised by the Government…”**

Your point here is not clear. What is clear is that up to 60,000 British students will miss out on a university education because our government prefers to squander our hard earned cash on wars, bankers and “foreign aid.”

**“As a result, I would not be surprised if foreign students increase the number of places available to UK student.”**

Again that is just a baseless comment when the reality is that places are limited and are running out fast.

**“I am amazed you seem to be against a successful export (higher education for foreign students) that provides jobs for British workers”**

I am against the gross abuses of this system as a conduit for illegal immigration as detailed in my comments above, including this drop in the ocean found amongst just three universities:

“THOUSANDS of foreign students bound for British universities are unaccounted for after being given UK entry visas.

Figures from only three universities show that almost 2,500 ¬candidates failed to turn up for their courses.

China, Saudi Arabia, India, Nigeria, Tanzania and Pakistan were among the countries where the highest number of missing applicants came from.

The shocking statistics will fuel concerns that foreigners are using student visas to bypass ¬immigration rules.

Last week a highly critical report from the Home Affairs select committee revealed that there may be up to 2,200 bogus UK colleges which have been set up purely to help immigrants enter the country…

The new figures show that, between 2005 and 2008, 1,436 ¬students failed to arrive at Solent University in Hampshire and 1,049 did not enrol at the Universities of Southampton and Winchester.”

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/117198/Migrants-go-missing-in-student-visa-scam-

@ Unity

1) The situation is perfectly clear: Tens of thousands of British students are being denied university places because the government claims a lack of funds.

2) The story above tells you why so many are not leaving: Because many are not even turning up to the courses they have booked and have no intention of leaving once here, the story below validates it.

3) Same as above and its not happening is it?

4) Sorry, does the Daily Express make your list of ‘ignored’ publications now?!
Are you seriously suggesting the whole article is an out and out fraud? If so then I assume you have reported it?

And you are clinging to straws if you belive what the UKBA try to sell you when they have been exposed for the liars they are over the massive Indian Visa increase, with the links in my previous comments.

A Solent University spokesman is hardly going to admit anything remotely negative about their university, now are they?

Here is more of the reality:

“Fraudsters working in London colleges are exploiting major flaws in the Home Office’s new immigration system just months after it was launched, a BBC London investigation has found.

Under the new government system, students with advanced qualifications are allowed to live and work in the UK for up to two years.

But a BBC London investigation has shown that visas are currently being issued to immigrants whose qualifications are completely fake, which is exactly what happened under the old immigration system.

A seller of illegal visas was so fearless of the authorities he openly advertised his services online, on the Gumtree website.

The advert, posted by a man called Mr Rabbani, boasted anyone could get a visa for as little as £2,000…”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7775544.stm

“The biggest UK visa application racket has been convicted by the UK Home Office this week, reports Sky News.

The three-person outfit produced more than 90,000 fraudulent UK visa application documents for people wanting to move to the UK through the immigration system…

The “gang” used fraudulent colleges to get their fake university certificates, and paid tens of thousands of pounds in return for the documentation.

The Home Office are still battling against UK visa application rackets, it is hoping that the new strict rules under the tiered points-based system will flush out the majority of those trying to abuse the system. Currently, educational institutions who want to educate overseas students must have a licence to do so, and need to sponsor that student for a UK student visa. So far, thousands of educational institutions have not applied for their sponsorship licence because they cannot prove they are bona fide.”

http://www.visabureau.com/uk/news/03-06-2009/biggest-uk-visa-application-scam-uncovered.aspx

And quite why everyone is acting so surprised or even denying its occurring here is beyond me given that pretty much every western country has exactly the same issue.

Here is just one report from Australia, for instance:

“PREMIER Anna Bligh has vowed to crackdown on a bogus student visa scam and has offered the state’s full support for a top-level investigation into the immigration rort.

The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed desperate overseas students are paying up to $100,000 in bribes to crooked businesses for fake documents to get permanent residency.

Mostly Indian, Chinese and Japanese students here on two-year student visas are willing to pay up-front to stay in the country. The Immigration Department has launched an investigation into the fake student visa scam after they were notified of businesses accepting bribes to sign-off on paperwork.”

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26378190-3102,00.html

**“Don’t try to get away with cherry-picking – I invariably check sources.”**

You wanted me to post the entire article then?

And in any case, as we have seen, the two left to comment on the story had vested interests, and one was from an organisation already exposed as dishonest.

@ Left Outside

Precisely!

@sevillista:

“… Their stats reveal that 60% of foreign students in the UK are studying at post-grad level. There are only 16,000 EU first degree students and 27,000 non-EU first degree students.”

The percentage is a little high but roughly correct but the other numbers are way off. According to HESA, 104,445 non-EEA students were enrolled in 2007-8, plus 69,865 EEA.

“It is unclear that foreign masters students are crowding out UK masters students – especially as demand for masters courses is far lower from UK students (there is far less subsidy, and the labour market returns for most professions are weak for masters qualifications)”

If it’s really the case that there is little labour market call for postgrad qualifications in the UK then the question that needs to addressed is why the HE industry is putting so much of its resource capability into servicing that sector. If the principal function of the HE sector is to cater to the needs of the national economy, as opposed to offering a ‘global education service’, it seems to me that some rebalancing of the available resources in favour of undergraduate curricula is in order that our own children might have fairer access to the better institutions.

HESA stats indicate that at the higher reaches of academia the under-representation of native students is just as pronounced at the UG level as at the PG. At the LSE, 39% of the UG enrolment is from non-EEA countries.

@CF

My use of the “beloved” reference to British students is because of the rap they usually get by the public. A glorious time to be a student, it seems, is when the public forgets that they are “scroungers and drunken layabouts” because their plight (which doesn’t exist, no matter how many times you quote irrelevant quotes, as others here have shown) happens to coincide with your anti-immigration arguments. In short, it was ironic, which seems to have been lost on you.

Anti-immigration arguments that you still haven’t explained your reason for, as it happens. And yes, like all the other times I *have* read above and, no, you haven’t explained your answers. For your benefit here it is copy and pasted…

“Can you also tell us what these people that have abused our immigration system have gone on to do? Are they all benefit scroungers in your eyes, do they have no economic benefit on this country whatsoever, or is the mere fact they’ve “abused” our system enough to show that they shouldn’t be here?”

I also repeat that students from outside the EU are an overwhelming economic benefit to this country, some would argue unfairly so in terms of how much we charge them, and that universities have for years been forging ahead with links with non-UK and non-EU countries to encourage those full-fee paying students.

These two things you’ve not really tackled…which is fair enough as there really is no escaping those realities so best to ignore them rather than admit you’re wrong, right?

As for your “spoon feeding” comment. I ask you to back up your claims because I have (like others here) been looking at this issue as in depth as I can manage for a long while. Your quotes are not new, nor are they proof of anything. Here are some more links that show university commitments to international students and developing these links…and indeed their frustration at UK moves that are putting off legitimate international students. This is the reality, anyone that has worked or been around a university in the last 5 years will be able to tell you this is the reality.

Here are a few more examples, here, here, here, here and here. And, for your reference, universities UK are the people running our universities.

“1) The situation is perfectly clear: Tens of thousands of British students are being denied university places because the government claims a lack of funds.”

This is completely unrelated to international students, as we keep telling you. If anything the existence of the international student market facilitates keeping parts of these institutions functioning and able to be used by part-funded British students.

54.

Firstly universities are, for all intents and purposes, run as businesses. If there was not a profit (or status) to be made in providing post-graduate courses then they wouldn’t offer them.

Second, out of all the students that are facing issues in the UK it is *not* undergraduates. Post-graduate course are, generally, paid for entirely by the student. They are courses that only exist because people want to do them, even if they aren’t UK students. Indeed from my experience post-grads tend to be Australian or European, and this is more because of their local economies and educational standards in their own country than anything else. I.E people come to this country to get post-grad qualifications to then take back and move on to a more productive “step” on their professional ladder back in the country they want to be in.

It is not a case of these institutions taking resources away from undergraduates, the resources are paid for almost entirely by the people wanting masters or PhD courses, as well as external bodies that are awarding research grants to institutions specifically to find out the stuff they want finding out. the “economy” of post-grad education is entirely different from that of the undergraduate market, so it’s best to not compare them as you have.

you are wasting your time lee, cf cares little for anything that proves him wrong. The force of will he has to show in order to bury his head in the sand is immense and to dodge and duck all the evidence. He even missed the point with the stewart lee link. I just wonder what makes a man so entrenched in his bigotry?

@Unity

“Not in the slightest – net migration is the correct metric to use for students …”

The remark about commiting a schoolboy howler was not related to the inclusion of students in the net migration figures (that’s the ONS’s fault for its mulish insistence on using the UN’s definition of what constitutes a migrant), but rather to the following assertion:

“ … although total net migration amounts to 1.859 million between 1997 and 2007, the number of people currently living in the UK with full settlement rights has risen by only 480,000.”

As far as I can tell, you have arrived at the last figure by subtracting the ‘net export of British citizens’ (811,000), which is presumably derived from the TIM/IPS datasets, from the settlement figures (1.292 million), which presumably derive from the HO report on Control of Immigration: Statistics.

If this is what you did, then it represents the commingling of figures from two unrelated datasets, which are based upon entirely different data collection techniques and of wildly differing reliability.

I will be happy to retract the remark if shown to be incorrect.

If this is what you did, then it represents the commingling of figures from two unrelated datasets, which are based upon entirely different data collection techniques and of wildly differing reliability.

…or “what everyone who uses data in real life does all the goddamn time, if the two datasets together either directly measure or act as a proxy for the thing you’re looking to measure and there isn’t any more reliable and recent data on the thing you’re looking to measure out there, and the assumptions behind and limitations of which are easily and transparently available”.

Not a schoolboy error, but a legitimate technique that only a sixth-form stats-pedant with no real-world experience would slate.

Dan:

480,000 is the net effect of migration on the settle population, i.e. the headline figure.

The data I’ll be using in a later piece on settlement inflows and outflows and internal migration will deal with your point, which is the underlying trend and a question of changes in the demographic composition of the UK’s settled population.

@cf

“The figures are what they are and they show what they show”

Yes. They show that your interpretation of them was complete bollocks.

Why can’t you admit that? Do you have a problem with comprehension of English?

It really is simple. The question asks “Why are you leaving?” and not “Why were you here in the first place”?

If you’re bitter because you didn’t get a higher education place, I would suggest it is because of your intellect rather than those horrible foreign students.

“If you don’t have the stats then what are you basing that on?”

Observation, but found the stats anyway (HESA cited above) – 60% of non-UK EU students and non-EU students are studying at Masters level.

“What is clear is that up to 60,000 British students will miss out on a university education because our government prefers to squander our hard earned cash on wars, bankers and “foreign aid.”

Yes. That’s the reason why 60,000 British students are missing out – it’s a question of allocation of Government resources.

It’s got fuck all to do with the number of foreign students. Glad you admit that.

“Again that is just a baseless comment when the reality is that places are limited and are running out fast”

Universities cross-subsidise British students with income from profitable foreign students who they can charge a market fee too. What do you think will happen if there is less money to do this cross-subsidisation of British students? Why do you think if you subsidise something less, supply will rise?

“I am against the gross abuses of this system as a conduit for illegal immigration as detailed in my comments above”

I agree. Which is why the correct response is to make sure that foreign students are truly studying, rather than banning foreign students entirely base on assertions that have little basis in fact that “most foreign students are abusing the system”.

Shouldn’t we ban tourists on your logic. After all, millions of people flood into the country each year. We have no way of knowing if they go home or not, and they result in hotel rooms being occupied by Johnny Foreigner rather than British people.

@DanDare

I made a mistake – the numbers of First Degree students are for those graduating in each year rather than the total number. Not sure there’s a table that looks at the composition of all students rather than those graduating – a rough estimate would be to scale the figures I give on under-graduate students by 3.

I thought the percentage was slightly higher than 60% looking at the stats.

“the question that needs to addressed is why the HE industry is putting so much of its resource capability into servicing that sector.”

It’s profitable. That’s the nub of it really. There are a lot of cheap to provide Masters courses (just the cost of teaching for a year) sold for £13,000 per student.

“At the LSE, 39% of the UG enrolment is from non-EEA countries.”

The LSE has always been that way has it not? It definitely has a far higher % than other universities. Anyway – I still think it’s not really relevant – UK student numbers are fixed by the resources the government want to put into subsidising UK students rather than the number of foreign students.

@Unity

OK I’ll pipe down about the incongruity of picking datapoint A from one survey and datapoint B from another and arithmetically summing them. The point has been made.

But sooner or later you’re going to have to acknowledge that the only things we know for sure are the numbers counted in and the numbers given settlement, with the one lagging the other by a number of years (pick your own number).

In between these extremes lie a myriad of other datapoints, some of more dubious provenance than others. Which ones you choose to use and believe in is as much a political choice as a statistical one.

@sevillista

“ Not sure there’s a table that looks at the composition of all students rather than those graduating – “

‘Table 0’ on this page from the HESA website provides a starting point:

http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php/component/option,com_pubs/Itemid,122/task,show_year/pubId,1/versionId,4/yearId,172/

65. Curious Freedom

@ Lee Griffin

**“A glorious time to be a student, it seems, is when the public forgets that they are “scroungers and drunken layabouts” because their plight (which doesn’t exist, no matter how many times you quote irrelevant quotes, as others here have shown) happens to coincide with your anti-immigration arguments”**

What an odd and meaningless statement.

I have posted no quotes, irrelevant or otherwise about students being “scroungers and drunken layabouts.”

Very strange indeed.

As is your very odd tie in to my non-existent “anti-immigration arguments.”

**“Anti-immigration arguments that you still haven’t explained your reason for, as it happens. And yes, like all the other times I *have* read above and, no, you haven’t explained your answers.”**

I have explained my reasons for proper controls on student visas many times now.

I just didn’t answer your strange question as re-posted because it is, well strange.

But if it is really that important to you then the answer is that if they came on a student visa and haven’t stuck to its terms they are illegal immigrants and should be treated as such irregardless of what they may be doing.

**“I also repeat that students from outside the EU are an overwhelming economic benefit to this country”**

If they are genuine, I am talking about the significant numbers that are not.

**“These two things you’ve not really tackled…which is fair enough as there really is no escaping those realities so best to ignore them rather than admit you’re wrong, right?”**

I have answered it and with evidence repeatedly.

**“As for your “spoon feeding” comment. I ask you to back up your claims because I have (like others here) been looking at this issue as in depth as I can manage for a long while.”**

The comment was in response to you making claims and then telling me to do my own research when you wanted me to provide granular detail for you.
Obviously.

**“Your quotes are not new, nor are they proof of anything”**

They prove plenty. Especially when the minister in charge of this debacle admits that “the abuse of the student visa has been the biggest abuse of the system, the major loophole in Britain’s border controls.”

**“This is the reality, anyone that has worked or been around a university in the last 5 years will be able to tell you this is the reality.”**

This is the reality, anyone that has worked or been around the real world in the last 5 years will be able to tell you this is the reality:

“THOUSANDS of foreign students bound for British universities are unaccounted for after being given UK entry visas.

Figures from only three universities show that almost 2,500 ¬candidates failed to turn up for their courses.

China, Saudi Arabia, India, Nigeria, Tanzania and Pakistan were among the countries where the highest number of missing applicants came from.
The shocking statistics will fuel concerns that foreigners are using student visas to bypass ¬immigration rules.

Last week a highly critical report from the Home Affairs select committee revealed that there may be up to 2,200 bogus UK colleges which have been set up purely to help immigrants enter the country…

The new figures show that, between 2005 and 2008, 1,436 ¬students failed to arrive at Solent University in Hampshire and 1,049 did not enrol at the Universities of Southampton and Winchester.”

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/117198/Migrants-go-missing-in-student-visa-scam-

“Fraudsters working in London colleges are exploiting major flaws in the Home Office’s new immigration system just months after it was launched, a BBC London investigation has found.

Under the new government system, students with advanced qualifications are allowed to live and work in the UK for up to two years.

But a BBC London investigation has shown that visas are currently being issued to immigrants whose qualifications are completely fake, which is exactly what happened under the old immigration system.

A seller of illegal visas was so fearless of the authorities he openly advertised his services online, on the Gumtree website.
The advert, posted by a man called Mr Rabbani, boasted anyone could get a visa for as little as £2,000…”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7775544.stm

“The biggest UK visa application racket has been convicted by the UK Home Office this week, reports Sky News.

The three-person outfit produced more than 90,000 fraudulent UK visa application documents for people wanting to move to the UK through the immigration system…

The “gang” used fraudulent colleges to get their fake university certificates, and paid tens of thousands of pounds in return for the documentation.

The Home Office are still battling against UK visa application rackets, it is hoping that the new strict rules under the tiered points-based system will flush out the majority of those trying to abuse the system. Currently, educational institutions who want to educate overseas students must have a licence to do so, and need to sponsor that student for a UK student visa. So far, thousands of educational institutions have not applied for their sponsorship licence because they cannot prove they are bona fide.”

http://www.visabureau.com/uk/news/03-06-2009/biggest-uk-visa-application-scam-uncovered.aspx

66. Curious Freedom

@ lemmy

**“you are wasting your time lee, cf cares little for anything that proves him wrong.”**

Well thanks for your contribution but I haven’t been proved wrong at all.

The student visa system has been massively abused and even the people in charge of it and liable for it now admit it.

Face it, you are wrong.

**“He even missed the point with the stewart lee link.”**

No I thought it was funny, just addressed to the wrong man.

**“I just wonder what makes a man so entrenched in his bigotry?”**

Trying looking within.

The fact is, whether you like it or not, whether it fits into your political prejudices are not, the student visa system has been massively abused.

67. Curious Freedom

@ sevillista

**“Yes. They show that your interpretation of them was complete bollocks.”**

I have already conceded that they are not much to go on and said “that they are all we have because this government doesn’t want you to know the truth” because they, and the previous government deliberately stopped keeping accurate records.

But I was actually scanning several of the tables as well and not just the one you cited. For instance, table 3.13 shows an inflow of 147,000 non-British students into the UK with an outflow of 46,000 non-British students. But that is listed as usual occupation prior to migration and is again down to the discretion of the person giving the answers.

**“If you’re bitter because you didn’t get a higher education place, I would suggest it is because of your intellect rather than those horrible foreign students.”**

I’m not bitter at all, I am just stating an opinion and you have no idea of my education so why even bother with the stupid vindictive personal little insults over an online debate and a conflicting opinion?

I have said the student visa system has been heavily abused and even without those figures it clearly has, and continues to be.

Even the people you appear revere so much in charge of it all agree for God’s sake.

**“It’s got fuck all to do with the number of foreign students. Glad you admit that.”**

I never said it was, you just added that in yourself. I didn’t admit anything, I clearly stated it.

**“Universities cross-subsidise British students with income from profitable foreign students who they can charge a market fee too. What do you think will happen if there is less money to do this cross-subsidisation of British students? Why do you think if you subsidise something less, supply will rise?”**

I have said that lack of funds should not be a reason for denying British students places in British universities and that suitable British candidates should fill the places first before being offered to foreigners.

**“I agree. Which is why the correct response is to make sure that foreign students are truly studying”**

Good; then you pretty much agree with me on my entire contention here because that is all I have said.

**“rather than banning foreign students entirely base on assertions that have little basis in fact that “most foreign students are abusing the system”**

I didn’t say that. It’s your own embellishment.

Why did you feel that necessary?

**“Shouldn’t we ban tourists on your logic.”**

Again, not my logic but your own embellishment.

Again, why did you feel that necessary?

The new figures show that, between 2005 and 2008, 1,436 ¬students failed to arrive at Solent University in Hampshire and 1,049 did not enrol at the Universities of Southampton and Winchester.”

Done this one already, but again that report continues…

A Solent University spokesman said: “Applicants apply to more than one university and get more than one offer. They then go to their preferred choice and fail to attend the others.”

UKBA director Jeremy Oppenheim added: “It is quite normal for students within the UK and from abroad to be offered a range of courses, only one of which they finally take up.

“This doesn’t mean they can get away without attending a course.

Then there’s…

But a BBC London investigation has shown that visas are currently being issued to immigrants whose qualifications are completely fake, which is exactly what happened under the old immigration system.

A seller of illegal visas was so fearless of the authorities he openly advertised his services online, on the Gumtree website.

The advert, posted by a man called Mr Rabbani, boasted anyone could get a visa for as little as £2,000…”

Except that the only source for the claim that visas were being issued on these fake certificates turns out to be the fraudster who’s selling the certificates.

Nowhere does the report provide evidence which shows that anyone has actually got a visa with Mr Rabbani’s dodgy documentation and the undercover reporter didn’t bother with the obvious follow-up of obtaining a certificate and then applying for a visa with it to see what happens.

As for your final story…

“The biggest UK visa application racket has been convicted by the UK Home Office this week, reports Sky News.

The three-person outfit produced more than 90,000 fraudulent UK visa application documents for people wanting to move to the UK through the immigration system…

The “gang” used fraudulent colleges to get their fake university certificates, and paid tens of thousands of pounds in return for the documentation.

The BBC report on the same story stated that…

Police suspect the company secured visas for at least 1,000 people, mostly from the Indian sub-continent, using a network of bogus colleges in London, Manchester, Bradford and Essex.

Relative to the numbers of students legitimately studying in the UK, that’s not a huge number.

69. Donut Hinge Party

Really, this is the wrong forum; too much ad hominem and polemic when the argument seems to be about numbers. A wiki would be much better; one person could make a claim, and cite a source. Someone could challenge that claim and quote their source, the comments could dissect the sources until we find those crisis points (maybe two self-completion questionnaires with differing sample criteria)

Where this works is in dissection of emotive arguments, such as CF’s frankly bizzare one that the reason people can’t get into university is because there are two many foreigners inside, which is kind of like blaming foreigners for being in front of you in the queue for the till in a shop, when it is PRECISELY THEIR CUSTOM which is responsible for the shop still being there in the first place.

70. Ken McKenzie

To address some points (this debate goes into some of what I do for a living)

Firstly, as stated, Curious Freedom is entirely wrong about foreign students ‘denying’ home students university places. The reasons have been given. Incidentally, rather a lot of students ‘miss out’ on university places every year. The furore has only arisen this year. A lot of them miss out, of course, because they don’t actually get the grades they need for the universities that they made first choice. A lot reapply and get in later.

Secondly, the market for Masters degrees (let’s not conflate “Masters” with “all PG qualifications offered by UK universities”, as the latter includes a lot of things with very clear employment markets, from vocational diplomas, through PGCEs and into PhDs) in general is not well defined, although employment outcomes for Masters graduates are rather better than for undergraduates, even for non-vocational courses.
It’s well outside the scope of this site, but the demand for Masters degrees in the labour market is not well studied (and there are very few active researchers in the field – any prospective social scientists looking for a field of study could do worse than choose it, although your choice of research groups would be limited). The demand for Masters degrees from prospective students, however, is strong. It is my view that there are Masters degrees that provide little benefit to their students in terms of employment, but it quite possible that those offering them don’t realise that (so weak is the evidence base). Besides, we also know that many students do Masters degrees for other reasons, which is good. Shame they’re so expensive.
None of this is germane to this particular spat, but may be of interest.

Thirdly, the data Unity and you are looking for does exist, and HESA has it, but they haven’t published it on their site. It’s in their book on student data for each individual year, or – you could ask them for the numbers. Or ask someone who has it if you really need it.

Curious Freedom @ 18.

Well?

We do know the in’s and outs under this so-called ‘student visa’ programme and we do know under this ‘new and tough points system.’

Apparently we don’t. See the previous hundred odd posts..

Unity is attempting to establish facts, you sir, are attempting to establish damage.

At least, that is what I think you are doing…

Well, fifty odd…

CuriousFreedom:

Your insistence that places for British students are being maliciously taken away to give them to foreign students is complete nonsense.

If the foreign students did not “take the places” then the places would not exist – because their fees PAY for their places. Their high fees also pay for more places for British students besides, as well as for scientific research, which is why universities are desperately scrabbling for more foreign students all the time. It’s really very simple.

As for the argument over whether students are staying or leaving on ending their courses: despite your quoting all these supposedly ‘referenced’ figures on students leaving the UK, the fact is that this information is not recorded by anyone. Any ‘statistics’ given on students leaving/staying (and the main article is a rare example of one that does resist the temptation) are either guesses or politically motivated.

However, it’s fairly obvious that anyone who has just paid £10,000+ in tuition fees is unlikely to want to hang around for the sort of sub-minimum wage job you can get without someone checking your visa status – such people clearly already have money already…

This is good, mountains of evidence are ignored as the entrenched racist called CURIOUS FREEDOM carries on regardless.

Lemmy,

Pardon me.

No, it is not good.

It is a deliberate distraction, at least I think it is.

There is evidence, at least I think there is, that we do not know the extent of emmigration.

For the sake of a balanced debate that has to be part of the arguement. I’d assume, contrary to ‘curious freedom’ that the bulk of students would indeed return to their country of origin, and that that would be the norm.

As far as I can call it, ‘curious freedom’ is all sound without substance

76. Curious Freedom

@ Unity

**”Done this one already, but again that report continues…”**

That’s right, we did do this already:

“And you are clinging to straws if you believe what the UKBA try to sell you when they have been exposed for the liars they are over the massive Indian Visa increase, with the links in my previous comments.

A Solent University spokesman is hardly going to admit anything remotely negative about their university, now are they?”

**“Except that the only source for the claim that visas were being issued on these fake certificates turns out to be the fraudster who’s selling the certificates.”**

Not really true is it?

As the report continues:

“Mr Rabbani told the undercover reporter the Home Office recently raided one of the colleges in his network.

But he said he was unconcerned and that he would simply put the undercover reporter through a different college instead.

The raided college cannot be named for legal reasons, but the police and the Border Agency have confirmed that the raid took place.

They say they uncovered evidence that the college had been used for as many as 2,500 fraudulent visa applications in the past six months – which would have netted the fraudsters at least £5m.”

**“Relative to the numbers of students legitimately studying in the UK, that’s not a huge number.”**

1) Do you believe that the 90000 documents seized were only used for 1000
clients rather then it was all the police could find sufficient evidence to charge for?

2) Do you think this was unique? The only operation in the UK doing this?

77. Curious Freedom

@ Donut Hinge Party

**“Really, this is the wrong forum; too much ad hominem and polemic…”**

It always does with the left and any subject they don’t want raised, and you don’t do such a bad job of it yourself.

So-called liberals are only up for diversity and tolerance as long as it’s on their terms and within their agenda. Any whiff of dissent and there is nothing liberal in the reaction.

The tactics are all the same:

1) Tar the dissenter as a ‘racist’ or some such like hate label so to discredit them

2) Lie about what the dissenter has actually said, as you and everyone else has gone on to do with your lies that I have demanded a stop to all foreign students or claimed that they have pushed out British Students

3) Keep repeating the lies about the dissenter and then introduce some others, most likely sock puppets, to variously attack and ridicule the dissenter on this lies rather then what has actually been said.

**“such as CF’s frankly bizzare one that the reason people can’t get into university is because there are two many foreigners inside”**

As I said, complete rubbish, an outright lie when what I have actually said is this:

“tens of thousands of British students have missed out on university after applications increased but places were cut because of the Government’s cash crisis.”

“I am at loss that you do not seem to understand that point was that this nasty anti-British government is allowing 50,000 British students who are undoubtedly genuine to be turned down on the grounds of lack of funds when they manage to find inordinate sums to prop up the streams of bogus asylum seekers pouring into this country (that is every single one of them who has passed through a safe country to get here) as well as the billion pound a year ‘aid’ to India, just for instance, that allows them to have a space programme whilst we do not.”

“The point was as well that a certain amount of wealthy foreigners are always going to want to pay for prestige universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, but British university places are for British students first and foremost and it is the duty of the government to ensure that suitable candidates go forward, not squander our money on wars, bankers and “foreign aid.”

“What is clear is that up to 60,000 British students will miss out on a university education because our government prefers to squander our hard earned cash on wars, bankers and “foreign aid.”

@ Ken McKenzie

**Firstly, as stated, Curious Freedom is entirely wrong about foreign students ‘denying’ home students university places.**

The lie continues and even adopts ‘quote marks’ to support the lie when what I actually said was:

“Indeed up to 50,000 UK students have been denied places at British universities this year while the number of non-European students given places has doubled over the last ten years.

Figures published earlier this year by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show that tens of thousands of British students have missed out on university after applications increased but places were cut because of the Government’s cash crisis.”

No mention of foreign students ‘denying’ British places, just that British places had been denied.

I then go on, as you can see above to elaborate on why they were denied, and it doesn’t include your lie.

@ jungle

**“Your insistence that places for British students are being maliciously taken away to give them to foreign students is complete nonsense.”**

And now the lie grows a bit more with my “insistence” that places are “maliciously” taken away from British students.

@ lemmy

“This is good, mountains of evidence are ignored as the entrenched racist called CURIOUS FREEDOM carries on regardless.”

Another eloquent and beneficial contribution from a one sentence loon who clearly bandies the word ‘racist’ around to feel some sort of smug power and discredit opponents.

If calling the student visa system a shambles that needs a proper overhaul and calling for all eligible British students to get funding and the first places in British Universities equate to the hatred of race to you, then you really need help.

78. Curious Freedom

@ douglas clark

**“Apparently we don’t. See the previous hundred odd posts..”**

We do know the ‘in’ as the FOI story illustrates, and the new system was designed to tell us the ‘out’ too, so we shall see.

But much evidence points to huge student visa scams, bogus colleges and even the government in charge admits its been a massive shambles and a massive open door.

**“Unity is attempting to establish facts, you sir, are attempting to establish damage… At least, that is what I think you are doing…”**

And you are wrong. I am demonstrating that the student visa system has been heavily abused and needs a proper rehaul.

That has been the point of every one of my comments.

**“It is a deliberate distraction, at least I think it is.”**

Calling the student visa system a shambles and proving its flaws is a deliberate distraction?

It’s the lies about what I have actually said that is the real deliberate distraction here.

**“I’d assume, contrary to ‘curious freedom’ that the bulk of students would indeed return to their country of origin, and that that would be the norm.”**

Significant numbers do not come here to be students but come via bogus colleges as an easy route in.

In January 2008 the BBC reported that nearly half of the colleges inspected so far were bogus:

“Following fears about bogus colleges, the government said it had inspected 256 colleges since 2005, leading to 124 being removed from the list.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7177033.stm

“In a critical report, they said the word “college” should be restricted to institutions accredited by the state.

The government said new regulations meant only genuine foreign students could now obtain a visa.

The MPs said they were “extremely disappointed” that the government had ignored repeated warnings from the education sector about the problem of bogus colleges.

Since March this year, there has been a more tightly controlled register of institutions which are allowed to recruit students from outside the EU.

The committee found that around 2,200 colleges were not transferred to this new list, and it said it suspected a significant proportion of these were bogus.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8159227.stm

“College leaders told the home affairs select committee they had been warning about bogus colleges for a decade.

The lack of control over colleges had been a “national scandal,” said Tony Millns, head of language teaching association English UK…

Mr Woolas did not have an estimate for how many bogus students might have entered the UK, but he speculated that there could have been more than 2,000 bogus colleges operating before the visa clampdown.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8078836.stm

**“As far as I can call it, ‘curious freedom’ is all sound without substance”**

I’m sure you and your playmates would like to believe that, but the fact is that I have more then proved my contention that the Student Visa system is a shambles and has been heavily abused.

That I am in a minority in being interested in the truth on that here is unsurprising, but even in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.

Not wishing to add fat to the fire, but it’s worth noting that earlier this year the government quietly added the ‘Post Study work’ feature to Tier 1 of the points-based system. This entitles anyone holding an HND or higher qualification from a British institution (and funds of £800) to a two-year residence and work-permit without actually needing to have found a job first.

According to the UK Border Agency this feature was added to the package to “enhance the United Kingdom’s overall offer to international students.”

So, not only are British students competing with non-Europeans on the front-end for places at the best universities, they may also encounter them on the back end as well, in the labour market.

Dan:

There is less than *zero* competition between Brits and non-Europeans for places at university. As has been stated numerous times, international students make money for universities. The places for them exist because there is demand, and their attendance allows the universities to increase the scope of their courses and take on more British students.

The more non-Europeans universities admit, the better for British students.

81. Mitchell Grosu Jr III

I would like to see this:

Fact: The eb5 visa program is responsible for X amount of jobs.

I respect all people and their beliefs, but I think that when you post a whole bunch of statistics like this, you should show some positive and some negative. Otherwise you risk losing credibility. Just my opinion..

@Phil H:

Imperial College, for example enrolled 8535 undergraduates in 2007-8, of whom 2185 (25%) were non-EEA students. Are you suggesting that Imperial could not have attracted 8535 ‘local’ students of the right calibre had it chosen to do so?

Or is the argument that, had the university not offered 25% of its places to overseas students, it would not have been able to provide for the 6000 or so Britsh students that it did enrol?

If the latter, some form of proof would be handy.

Dan, look up the course fees. Work out how much extra money Imperial made from the 2185 non-EEA students, compared to the amount of money the same number of British students brings in.

Actually, sod it, I’ll do it for you. Source

A quick scan tells me that most postgraduate taught courses cost a little under (and some a little over) £5000 to Home/EU students, and over £16,000 to non-EU students. So, on most courses, non-EU students are paying about three times the amount that UK students are paying.

Granted, the fees in the Business school appear to be the same for both home and EU students, so to be fair let’s knock that £11,000 gap down a bit to account for that – so, say, the average difference between a home and non-EU student’s fees is around £8,000 (I’ve knocked a considerable amount off because the number of students coming to study business courses is probably the largest single course, and I don’t want to be accused of underestimating the impact of that – and remember the £11,000 initial gap I took was conservative).

So, £8,000 extra per student – still on average a non-EU student is paying about double what a UK student is paying – the 2185 non-EU students are bringing in nearly as much as the 6350 Home and EU students (who won’t all be British).

That’s a staggering £16,480,000 just because they come from outside of the EU – and that’s the *extra* money, not their entire fees.

Do you really think Imperial can do without that money?

Do you not think that perhaps Imperial might not be able to employ the range of staff with the necessary range of skills and expertise if they stopped accepting foreign students and only accepted British students?

Do you not think this money pays for resources and laboratories?

Do you seriously believe that if they only accepted British students that the Home/EU fees wouldn’t rise?

Curious freedom @ 6.01pm, November 24th 2009,

Well, you say:

We do know the ‘in’ as the FOI story illustrates, and the new system was designed to tell us the ‘out’ too, so we shall see.

Which is why I’d argue that you have no facts that back you up. Facts depend on statistics being gathered correctly. If that is not the case, then we might as well be debating the number of angels on a pinhead. Which is more or less what the Liberal Democrats have been saying all along.

And you are wrong. I am demonstrating that the student visa system has been heavily abused and needs a proper rehaul.

Perhaps you see your “arguement” as a demonstration of your “logic”.

Why does it look to me, as a byestander, like a load of racist tosh? I have no idea whether you are right or wrong on the subject, but…

Apart from that, and the ad hominems obviously, keep going.

I, for one, would really like to see whether Unity is right or wrong on this subject. You, on the other hand, are only interested in exploiting the debate on your own terms.

Least, that’s what it looks like to me…..

This is getting ridiculous.

I’ve heard of the Lump of Labour Fallacy, but never the Lump of University Course Fallacy.

86. Curious Freedom

@ douglas clark

**“Which is why I’d argue that you have no facts that back you up”**

My only contention has been that the Student Visa system has been massively abused and I have proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt, thank you very much Dougie.

What part of the facts above do you not understand? The minister in charge himself admitting it is a widely abused shambles? 124 of the 256 ‘colleges’ the government deigned to inspect between 2005 and 2008 being found to bebogus? The government admitting that “it thinks there could have been more than 2,000 bogus colleges”…

**“Which is more or less what the Liberal Democrats have been saying all along.”**

This would be the same Liberal Democrats that don’t have a snowball in hells chance of ever winning power in this country and are even being out done by the BNP in some recent elections and may well have to fight just to stay as the third party?!!

**“Perhaps you see your “arguement” as a demonstration of your “logic”**

It is abundantly clear that you are a pretty smug so-called Liberal bigot, but when using your air of superiority to try to put me down and speech marks to highlight your contempt, it may be best to check that the spelling in those speech marks is actually correct.

Lest you look a fool, sweet pea.

**“Why does it look to me, as a byestander, like a load of racist tosh? I have no idea whether you are right or wrong on the subject, but…”**

You are no bystander, and you I will say the same to you as I did to ‘Lemmy’:
If calling the student visa system a shambles that needs a proper overhaul and calling for all eligible British students to get funding and the first places in British Universities equate to the hatred of race to you, then you really need help.

Do elaborate on your theory though and what it is based upon; and do explain what you think the word actually means too and if all foreign students are non-white in any case…

**“Apart from that, and the ad hominems obviously, keep going.”**

After you slipped your own in? What a hypocrite.

**“You, on the other hand, are only interested in exploiting the debate on your own terms.”**

Why? Because you say so? And who the hell are you?

I have made my point quite clear and proved it beyond any shadow of a doubt, except, maybe to deluded middle class liberal types who don’t believe anything that goes against the grain.

**“Least, that’s what it looks like to me…..”**

You really are a Liberal Democrat aren’t you?!

You make so many bold and offensive statements and then keep ending on a confused wishy washy not-really-sure-anymore note.

@Phil H:

Your back of the envelope sums do not constitute proof for the argument you are making. There are several other variables that you are ignoring:

– the variable cost of providing for non-European students, which will usually extend beyond the cost of providing the physical infrastructire and academic resources (visa compliance, other specialised support staff, diversity policing and so on).

– the council funding grants which are the biggest single source of university funding, and which are not applicable for non-European students

– the assumption that international student fees are used to subsidise local students may or may not be true. Without a sight of the detailed accounts it is impossible to say what is being cross-subsidised, if anything; for all we know it might be wasted on all sorts of fripperies which are legion in academia: chairs and professorships, trips to overseas conferences, restocking the claret in the don’s refrectory etc etc.

But, in the final analysis, it comes back to a question of: what is the the principal function of the HE system? Is it to provide a high quality education to all those in the native population who are capable of taking advantage of it, and growing our national skills-base in the process? Or is it to operate a ‘global educational service’ for the benefit of overseas countries, many of whom are our commerical and political adversaries?

Once the hypocrisy, cant and transatlantic ‘marketing speak’ is removed from the equation, we are left with a simple question: are we as a nation prepared to properly finance the HE sector for the benefit of our own population, or are we happy for it to regress to a commercially-oriented ‘service provider’, open to the highest bidder, as has happened in the United States and Australia?

According to the latest version of “Patterns of higher education institutions in the UK” non-EEA student fee income amounted to £1.9 or around 8% of total sector income in 2007-8. The same publication indicates that the HE sector consumed 1.21% of GDP in 2007; inceasing that to 1.31% would bring the UK up to around the upper fifth decile of the EU table for investment in HE, slightly above Slovenia and Belgium, but still behind the Netherlands.

To put this in perspective £1.9 billion is about a quarter of the UK’s foreign aid budget in 2009-2010 (which is itself planned to double by 2013). Is there any doubt which the the general public would view as being better value for money in the remote possibility that they were ever to be asked?

This will be my final word on the theme of foreign students, not least because as noted earlier, and contrary to Unity’s earlier headline pronouncements, they are almost entirely irrelevant to a discussion on migration. Except, that is, to the extent that the present ramshackle visa regime aids and abets illegal immigration, or that the foreign student system facilitates entry to the ‘settlement track’.

curious freedom: clinging to racist ideas even though his bigotry and closed mind have been taken apart.

89. Donut Hinge Party

A lot of the groundwork has already been done by Strethclyde via the Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/nov/04/higher-education-uk-economy

The Strathclyde study used data from the Office for National Statistics, the Higher Education Statistics Agency and information from all 166 higher education institutions in the UK to measure the impact of universities on the economy.

It found that universities generated more than £59bn for the economy in 2007-08, a 25% rise on the £45bn they produced four years before that.

The total revenue earned by universities was £23.4bn, compared to just under £20bn for agriculture and under £15bn for the pharmaceutical industry.

For every £1m spent by higher education, £1.35m was generated by universities for the economy, according to the study, The Impact of Universities on the UK Economy. This is more than for the NHS, which generates £1.24m per £1m spent.

Professor Iain McNicoll, one of the report’s authors, said: “You get a bigger bang for your buck, in terms of impact on the UK economy, if you spend that £1m on higher education rather than health.”

Higher education generates 2.3% of the UK’s gross domestic product, making it “one of the most effective sectors,” said Ursula Kelly, another of the report’s authors. “As a producer of goods and services alone, the sector makes an evidentially large contribution to the UK economy of £19.5bn.”

[b]Universities brought in £5.3bn from overseas students, international conferences and work conducted for overseas businesses. They provide the equivalent of 314,600 full-time jobs, or 1.2% of all full-time jobs in the UK.[/b]

Those visiting universities from abroad and overseas students spent £2.3bn off-campus, the study found.

There’s also a handy institution by institution table here: http://education.guardian.co.uk/universityfunding/page/0,,2262371,00.html. Total spend – 4.5 billion.

Yes, there might be some black market visas flying around, but obviously those institutions aren’t getting any funding. And if someone does abscond and drop off the radar, well, they’re taking up floor space, but as they don’t exist on the radar they can’t Take Our Jobs (except for cash in hand ones), they can’t Take Our Houses (because they’re not on the system) and they can’t Bludge On Benefit (ibid.). In fact, the only thing they can do is receive emergency care at the point of need from the NHS.

So I’m not entirely sure what the issue is.

@88 I know you’re using cutesy rhetoric above, but obviously the issue is “if you’re a bigot who wants to pretend they aren’t, then making up spurious nonsense about fake universities swamping us with a gazillion job-stealing dole-bludgers is more palatable than simply marching in line with Nick Griffin at Kick Out The Darkies Fest 2009”.

I swear DHP’s comment was @88 when I clicked, not @89. Meh.

Curious Freedom 10:55pm November 25th 2009,

Hmm…

My only contention has been that the Student Visa system has been massively abused and I have proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt, thank you very much Dougie.

Really? Where? Not on this site you haven’t.

Do elaborate on your theory though and what it is based upon; and do explain what you think the word actually means too and if all foreign students are non-white in any case…

Err…

As I don’t have a theory to express, I fail to really understand what you are talking about. ‘Course, now you’ll say I am an idiot. Which may well be the case, however even idiots can spot an agenda driven diatribe such as your posts here.

You really are a Liberal Democrat aren’t you?!

You make so many bold and offensive statements and then keep ending on a confused wishy washy not-really-sure-anymore note.

Not anymore. I am a paid up member of the SNP.

Please point me to any offensive posts that I have made here. If you mean I have offended racists, I’d quite like the medal.

93. Curious Freedom

@ Lemmy

**“curious freedom: clinging to racist ideas even though his bigotry and closed mind have been taken apart.”**

Go on then, let’s hear.

Explain how proving that the student visa system has been abused and calling for British students to get funding and first refusal equates to race hatred?

And are all foreign students non-white?

Are smears of ‘racist’ all you have? Personally I think you are the racist here and you are over compensating. The lady doeth protest too much…

@ john b

You are making up your own story and attributing it to me, just like pretty much most of the other fools on this thread.

You are a deeply dishonest bunch in the main. And dishonesty almost always springs from a faulty premise.

@ douglas clark

“Really? Where? Not on this site you haven’t.”

What part of the facts above do you not understand? The minister in charge himself admitting it is a widely abused shambles? 124 of the 256 ‘colleges’ the government deigned to inspect between 2005 and 2008 being found to bebogus? The government admitting that “it thinks there could have been more than 2,000 bogus colleges”…

**“As I don’t have a theory to express, I fail to really understand what you are talking about.”**

So you admit you just arbitrarily call people that you don’t agree with racists with no reasoning, not theory behind it.

**“‘Course, now you’ll say I am an idiot. Which may well be the case,”**

Well, when you can’t even get your smug air of superior and indigent internet contempt right, then pretty much.

**“however even idiots can spot an agenda driven diatribe such as your posts here.”**

Merely a racist bigots rant against a differing opinion, no more, no less.

**“Not anymore. I am a paid up member of the SNP.”**

Oh that’s OK then. You just hate the English. No law against that. There is law against pretty much everything else. But not that.

Curious Freedom,

Hmm…

So you admit you just arbitrarily call people that you don’t agree with racists with no reasoning, not theory behind it.

Not usually, no. And there is nowt arbitrary about it. I have read everything you have posted on this thread and my contention is that you have outed yourself.

Your final paragraph:

Oh that’s OK then. You just hate the English. No law against that. There is law against pretty much everything else. But not that.

takes the biscuit.

I generally agree with folk that write Opinion Pieces on here. I have had my ups and downs with Unity, but hopefully that has been based around arguement and discussion rather than me hating the English, which, just for the record, I don’t.

Just out of curiosity, and seeing as how I have revealed my membership of the SNP, would you care to tell everyone here what political party you favour?

95. Curious Freedom

@ douglas clark

**“Not usually, no.”**

I’ll bet a penny to a pound that is not even remotely true.

**“And there is nowt arbitrary about it.”**

Right. Even though you cannot explain your reasoning for it despite being challenged twice?

**“I have read everything you have posted on this thread and my contention is that you have outed yourself.”**

I see. Still cannot explain your actual reasons and still cannot explain which part of these facts about student visa abuse you don’t understand:

The minister in charge himself admitting it is a widely abused shambles? 124 of the 256 ‘colleges’ the government deigned to inspect between 2005 and 2008 being found to be bogus? The government admitting that “there could have been more than 2,000 bogus colleges”…

**“Your final paragraph…takes the biscuit.”**

Oh really? Poor you! Don’t you like it when people point out your hypocrisy?

Personally I think you claiming that you deserve a fucking medal for bravery merely for gratuitously insulting someone in a public online debate when our troops are coming home in body bags each week take’s the fucking biscuit.

**“I generally agree with folk that write Opinion Pieces on here.”**

Well that’s mighty big of you to agree with most people’s right to express their opinions, you know exercise free speech. But of course, you decide which opinions are worthy of it.

**“but hopefully that has been based around arguement and discussion rather than me hating the English, which, just for the record, I don’t.”**

Oh what an absurd lie! You can’t wait to break away from the English. Why is that again?! As an Englishman, am I welcome in your party? Would I be welcome to stand for the SNP?

Face facts. For once, embrace reality. You are a nationalist, which Wikipedia define as thus:

“Nationalism is an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the primary importance of the nation. It may be a form of patriotism, stressing the good things about ones own nation, or a form of chauvinism, stressing the bad things about all other nations. According to Blank and Schmidt it is an idealisation of a nation, and often tends to identify a homogeneous national culture, sometimes combined with a negative view of other races or cultures.”

To sum up: As a nationalist you feel that your nation, that is the people that make up your nation, have an innate uniqueness that makes them worthy of protecting as an entity and that it has a specific and unique cultural identity that is worth preserving and that you are proud of your nations history.

You are even more of specialised nationalist too: A Scottish nationalist. Considering we share the same citizenship, with there being no Scottish citizenship, you obviously consider the rest of the UK and its people as outsiders to your nation irregardless of the fact that we are fellow countrymen and welcome a border to divide us, as well as legal and administrative divisions too.

**“Just out of curiosity, and seeing as how I have revealed my membership of the SNP, would you care to tell everyone here what political party you favour?”**

You insult me without being able to give any reason why. You think you can decide which opinions are worthy of a public forum. You are not genuine. You are dishonest.

Consequently I don’t much like you and I certainly don’t answer to you.

So quite frankly it’s none of your business to be curious about anything relating to me or to ask me anything at all.

Least, that’s what it looks like to me…

96. Donut Hinge Party

Where does nationalism begin and anti-federalism end? I mean, presumably you’re not saying that those advocating leaving Europe can be reduced to the level of pure ‘nationalism’, are you? Maybe you are – maybe you’re trying to prove we’re all nationalists at heart. Although I’m not, if there was a Frenchman and a Yorkshireman drowning in the river, I wouldn’t automatically go for the Yorkshireman.

The minister in charge himself admitting it is a widely abused shambles? 124 of the 256 ‘colleges’ the government deigned to inspect between 2005 and 2008 being found to be bogus? The government admitting that “there could have been more than 2,000 bogus colleges”…

Yes, there could have.

Each of the 2,100 universities, independent schools and colleges which applied for the license was visited by a UK Border Agency (UKBA) officer as part of the vetting process to root out the fake institutions. A total of 460 were rejected.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/5078652/Hundreds-of-bogus-colleges-exposed.html

But there weren’t.

Aside from the repeated using of a ministers statement as proof of fact, which is hillarious, CF you have purposefully avoided this question, so I ask you again…

Can you tell us what these people that have abused our immigration system have gone on to do? Are they all benefit scroungers in your eyes, do they have no economic benefit on this country whatsoever, or is the mere fact they’ve “abused” our system enough to show that they shouldn’t be here?

Without risking sounding like Sally, your other statements are so devoid from reality (I mean, how can you not understand how foreign students fully funding their own places in university would prop up departments that normally only a few UK students would wish to take part in? Your naivity is amazing) that it’s clear you’re not here to do anything other than try to cement rumour and baseless comment from one or two individuals (while also taking others comments out of context) as “fact”, in which case you should probably go back to BNP sites where they’re more likely to buy your wares 🙂

yep, curious freedom is a racist, ducking and weaving and not answering questions, intolerant of his bigoted ideas being taken apart and quite clearly obsessed with having the last word.

100. Curious Freedom

@ Donut Hinge Party

**“Where does nationalism begin and anti-federalism end?”**

If you don’t know then it is not up to me to educate you.

The EU is not a nation, I will give you that much.

**“Yes, there could have… But there weren’t.”**

Again, just bullshit.

Either through design or through ignorance you failed to note that an article on the same day from the same outlet clearly tells you that the total of 2100 who have applied to be checked is less then half of the estimated amount of intuitions actually catering for foreign students.

‘Of the 5,000 thought to take foreign students only 2,100 have so far applied to have their credentials checked. And of those 460 have been rejected.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/5083517/Bogus-colleges-are-Achilles-Heel-of-immigration-system-say-Phil-Woolas.html

So the minister’s estimate could well be right as so many refused to register for checks.

@ Lee Griffin

**“Aside from the repeated using of a ministers statement as proof of fact, which is hilarious”**

Clearly you are not the brightest, but when a career man in charge of a department admits that his department is woefully inadequate in areas of management and policy for issues within its remit, and that certain areas of his responsibility have been seriously abused and undermined then it is quite obvious that admission can only do that career man harm, not good, and he only admits it because the problem is so massive it cannot be covered up anymore.

You see?

But go on then, why do you think he is lying about it then?

**“CF you have purposefully avoided this question, so I ask you again…”**

Like I have said, you are clearly not the sharpest pencil in the case.

The question has already been answered in full.

**“your other statements are so devoid from reality (I mean, how can you not understand how foreign students fully funding their own places in university would prop up departments that normally only a few UK students would wish to take part in?”**

Again, that’s an outright lie by you.

I have said no such thing.

**“Your naivity is amazing”**

Your stupidity is amazing.

And you really believe that the student visa system hasn’t been massively abused?!!

**“as “fact”, in which case you should probably go back to BNP sites where they’re more likely to buy your wares”**

Just more hot air from an air head that cannot even read previous comments he is responding to or comprehend them.

Typical malicious fluff from an idiot who cannot debate so seeks to discredit instead.

101. Curious Freedom

@ Lemmy

**“yep, curious freedom is a racist, ducking and weaving and not answering questions, intolerant of his bigoted ideas being taken apart and quite clearly obsessed with having the last word.”**

Once again, you throw around words you cannot define for reasons you cannot explain.

A troll, in internet parlance.

I have had answered every question in full you idiot, and had no ideas taken apart by anyone, you clown. I have put forward facts that show the student visa system has been heavily abused. And that’s not an idea.

What I have had is a pack of lies attributed to me by mental midgets who have to use such tactics to undermine dissenters.

As for having the last word, that is what you are clearly seeking, even though the only word you have is racist.

I think I know who you really are ‘Lemmy’…

“Come and watch my show…pay attention to me…drama..drama”

curious racist, you’re a liar, a duck & weave merchent and a bad joke, when is your show on? Can’t wait to see it…oh and you thinking you’ve answered the question doesn’t make it so. Poor deluded fool

ps: your failure to actually not be a close-minded troll is quite breathtaking, everyone is laughing at you last word goon…

104. Curious Freedom

Yes “Lemmy” / DHG, everyone is laughing at me! Whilst you spoof yourself, Chairman moo, me and use multiple identities to troll

Besides the prose, semantic style and choice of words giving you away, a quick Google search and a few links later I have found that many people have flagged you as a proper nutcase and this as one of your favourite devices.

You are deranged, even by internet standards. What a freak.

“But go on then, why do you think he is lying about it then?”

You take a man’s word over that of evidence, it says it all.

“The question has already been answered in full.”

Wow, that was in full? I said avoided because your answer is cheap and off tangent without addressing the point of my question. I’ll just have to assume you accept that people who have arrived illegally could very well be productive, an economic benefit to the country, but you’d rather they were shipped off out anyway because of some lines drawn in the sand? Well, given your other statement on the subject…

“If they are genuine, I am talking about the significant numbers that are not.”

The case seems strong that you have the most simplistic view of student immigrants. Legal = good and productive, illegal = bad and drain on economy.

“And you really believe that the student visa system hasn’t been massively abused?!!”

We have all this evidence which suggests not, you have a guy saying there’s a problem and your complete misinterpretation of statistics.

“Typical malicious fluff from an idiot who cannot debate so seeks to discredit instead.”

Poor baby, I’ll bring the kleenex.

106. Curious Freedom

Amazing. It’s more like a scene from ‘one flew over the cuckoos nest’ then a debate in reality.

There is no free exchange of ideas and thoughts, just endless insults, strawmen and weasel words.

I put up valid points based upon reality, where the real people live, and you guys just come up with surreal inventions, outright lies and convoluted nonsense.

**“You were suggesting that most asylum seekers crossed several borders to reach “soft touch” UK.”**

Again you put “speech marks” on something I didn’t say; you did.

**“I was pointing out a major flaw in your argument – I am sure most asylum seekers arrive by air.”**

Based upon what exactly?

And genuine asylum seekers are required to claim asylum at the point of entry. Not use visas to enter and then claim, or overstay and then claim, or enter illegally and then claim.

And the figures of the author of this post clearly states that only 1 in 3 claims at point of entry.

**“Not really insulting is it?”**

Again with the lies.

What you actually said was:

“There’s this magical new invention (I understand why you may not have heard of it, it’s only been around for 80 years or so) called an aeroplane.”

“There’s also another magical invention (again, I understand that it’s only been around for a few thousand years, so fully appreciate why you may have neglected to think about it) called a boat.”

And you now claim that these childish attempts at scorn were not meant to be insulting?

**“I could be insulting if you like, you big twat.”**

Yeah and I could call you a stupid cunt, but that’s not really a debate is it? That’s not what we are here for, is it? Or is it?

**“You just hate it when people point out the flaws in your logic and your (deliberate) misinterpretation of facts to suit your prejudices.”

You haven’t done any such thing! And you now talk as if you know me.

All you have done is totally ignore what I have actually said, invent your own version and attack that. Weird.

**“Obviously there are other major flaws in your argument,
such as we receive our “fair share” of applicants relative to the rest of the EU and 85% of EU asylum seekers apply in other EU countries.”**

Again with the “speech marks” attributing quotes to me that I haven’t made and arguing against your own lies.

I haven’t claimed any such thing. I have clearly stated:

“[the] convention they use to claim asylum also tells them to claim it in the first safe country… when people use one part of a law and convention to claim asylum but break another part of the law and convention by not claiming it in the first safe country these people are not genuine asylum seekers…people that do not claim asylum in the first safe country are not our legal responsibility…If and when Western Europe erupts in civil war and oppressive regimes, then the UK will have to honour its international obligations and take in genuine asylum seekers just in the same way as these other countries else where are now honouring their international obligations.”

**“It’s possible. Our globalised world requires lots of commercial ships to take goods from one part of the world to another.”**

Even if it were even remotely true, and you now move away from everyone arriving via an airplane; but commercial ships dock multiple times around the world on a long haul voyage and at least one on those routes cited would be a safe country; also at the very least, one person in the crew would have to be involved making it the very people smuggling operation I referred to.

**“Though maybe I’m being silly as you say and asylum seekers arriving in this way is a logical impossibility?”**

It’s also a logical possibility that they have used air balloons to arrive, and maybe even rode the backs of dolphins; but its not reality is it? Or do you have evidence that that it is a major route in?

107. Curious Freedom

Scratch my comment above! Wrong thread!

What was meant to be posted was:

@ Lee Griffin

**“You take a man’s word over that of evidence, it says it all.”**

Its not one mans word, it is the minister in charge; it is also an entire committee devoted to the problem and facts like these:

124 of the 256 ‘colleges’ the government deigned to inspect between 2005 and 2008 being found to be bogus? The government admitting that “there could have been more than 2,000 bogus colleges”…

.. on top of all the other evidence I posted.

What evidence counters this?

**“ Wow, that was in full? I said avoided because your answer is cheap and off tangent without addressing the point of my question..”**

Another lie.

You said actually said: “CF you have purposefully avoided this question” when you now admit that I did indeed answer it.

**“I’ll just have to assume you accept that people who have arrived illegally could very well be productive, an economic benefit to the country, but you’d rather they were shipped off out anyway because of some lines drawn in the sand? Well, given your other statement on the subject…”**

Well you don’t have to assume anything mate, I answered it in full and here it is again:

“But if it is really that important to you then the answer is that if they came on a student visa and haven’t stuck to its terms they are illegal immigrants and should be treated as such irregardless of what they may be doing.”

**“The case seems strong that you have the most simplistic view of student immigrants. Legal = good and productive, illegal = bad and drain on economy.”**

Are you for real? Illegal is illegal. How can it possibly benefit us?

**“We have all this evidence which suggests not, you have a guy saying there’s a problem and your complete misinterpretation of statistics.”**

What evidence do you against, opposing the evidence for, in the contention that the student visa system has been massively abused?

**“Poor baby, I’ll bring the kleenex.”**

I can safely assume you’ll be needing the Kleenex for other things Lee.

Wow, what a diatribe and notice that in all the immigration threads ‘CF” you are spamming them with your hate.

Brilliant stuff, your own words hang you.

109. Curious Freedom

What a load of shit DHG or whoever you are today! You have been throughly exposed a right spoofing crank with a one word remedy!

We’ve already gone over this once, you even ceded that you realised that DHG was an abbreviation of my name rather than a fake identity.

And the alleged exposing is a figment of your imagination.

111. Curious Freedom

Come now sweetpea, let’s not speak of the past that hurts you so.

Let’s only speak of our wondrous future together.

XXXX

Oh dear.

113. Curious Freedom

It is so exciting to see that you and I are moving past our initial tiff and on to much better things Daniel.

Are you excited too my little Hoffmeister? Can I call you that? Could that be our little thing?

I feel like our whole relationship has just blossomed into something beautiful.

Come now sweetpea, don’t be afraid.

XXXXX

You said like my ex-girlfriend from the early noughties which is alarming.

I’m spoken for, you’ll have to find another I’m afraid.

115. Curious Freedom

We’ll take it slowly my little hoffmeister; just exchange a few words, express some thoughts and maybe the odd debate.

But we may ending up meeting in the middle my little hoffy, wouldn’t that be wondrous?

XXXX

No.

117. Curious Freedom

Come now sweetpea, let’s only take steps forward from now on; never backwards.

XXXXX

No thanks. Bye now!

119. Curious Freedom

Its not goodbye my little hoffmeister, its merely auf wiedersehen

Don’t know where, don’t know when…

XXXXX

As I said, bye.

121. Curious Freedom

Back so soon my precious one? Nice to hear from you too sweetpea.

Don’t worry, don’t be so anxious, I am here to stay and I will defend you from everyone on this site; no will be able to mess with my little hoffmeister without answering to me to first.

XXXXX

Utterly mental.

Bye now.

123. Curious Freedom

I am there for you sweet hoffers, now and for always; no one will be mean to you here again without my wrath.

Now you hang up first…

You are obsessed, odd, weird and ever so slightly lonely aren’t you?

125. Curious Freedom

I’m not lonely when you keep coming back to embrace my sweet little hoffers, my precious little hoffmeister

We have much to look forward to, but for now sweatpea, you hang up first, I just cant bear too…

You are pointless.

As this clearly means so much to you, have the last word in a thread on the Internet you poor sad bastard.

How pathetic you are.

128. Curious Freedom

No! you hang up first…

Oh what are we a like my sweet little hoffmeister? A real pair of new starters!

Isn’t it wondrous and just so delicious?

Now you first sweetpea…


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