British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering restrictions on foreign students who arrive in the country with their relatives and study for "low-quality" degrees, PA Media and DPA reported, quoted by BTA.
Net immigration to Britain has hit a record half a million people and Downing Street has plans to reduce the total, including restrictions on the number of relatives international students bring with them and tougher admissions to more prestigious universities.
The figures show that 504,000 more people moved to the UK than left it in the period June 2021 - June 2022. In comparison, net immigration for the previous 12 months was 173,000.
The information was released by the Office for National Statistics, which said the rise was driven by specific factors, including visa schemes for citizens of Ukraine and Hong Kong, as well as students arriving from non-EU countries.
People with student visas make up the largest share of long-term non-EU immigrants in Britain - 277,000, or 39 percent, according to statistics.
The British Prime Minister's spokesman confirmed his desire to reduce the level of immigration and blamed "unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances" for the record increase. "We are considering all possible options to make the immigration system work, and that includes the problem of students' relatives and low-quality degrees," he added.
Such actions may cause resistance in the government. Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt assured last week that immigration was needed to boost economic growth. "There needs to be a long-term plan if we want to reduce immigration without hurting the economy," Hunt said.
"We are aware that we will need immigration for years to come - it will be very important for our economy," he added.
There would also be concern in the education ministry about university funding if the number of international students who pay high fees is reduced.
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