Thursday, March 24, 2011

UK's Student Migrants

I dropped in at the MIMPJ Toastmasters meeting yesterday, and Tan Hok Eng made a request to me and which I agreed – I was to be the invocator. For sure, I gave these Toastmasters the energy boost that fueled their meeting – and it turned out to be an engagement that had zest, zing and zip! By the way, Dr. John Lau, First Vice-President of TI was present too. And what was kinda interesting was that when he went up to the front to speak – he actually continued from where I left off in my 2-minute invocation! Wow!

UK’s The Independent published this article on Tuesday – about the British government’s plan to reduce the number of foreign students and their dependants coming to the country by around 100,000 a year. Home Secretary Theresa May said the "radical" clampdown would stop the bogus students – whom she referred to as student migrants – from studying meaningless courses at fake colleges, and even blocking entry to those who cannot speak good English. And there will also be tougher restrictions on non-EU students staying in the country after their course finishes – including a rule that they must find a job that pays at least £20,000 a year. There is overdue recognition that there is widespread abuse and this Tory plan was to restore some sanity to their student visa system.

The above-mentioned news stoked my curiosity. I hadn’t grasped that the UK continues to be a preferred education destination. I decided to verify how important this industry is to the UK. And I managed to dig up this BBC News write-up that informs that foreign students are worth an estimated £8 billion to the country and the fees they pay for their courses underpin the finances of the higher education sector. Tuition fees paid by overseas students can be up to seven times the price paid by their British counterparts (August 26, 2010). Therefore, the education industry is not just important but it is very lucrative.

Still, in spite of how expensive British education is, the inflow of student applications continues unabated. We shouldn't be surprised, should we? After all, British education is synonymous with quality education.

No comments: