Strong support for Dyson’s stance on overseas students

Inventor James Dyson PA Photo

Inventor James Dyson PA Photo - Credit: PA

Tory plans to expel international students on graduation have come under fire. Political Editor Annabelle Dickson reports

Norfolk-born inventor and entrepreneur Sir James Dyson has won widespread support for speaking out over plans by home secretary Theresa May to expel overseas students as soon as they graduate, warning that it will simply help Britain's international competitors.

Mrs May has said that she wants the Conservative manifesto to include a commitment to compel students from outside the EU to leave the UK once they have completed their degree and to apply for a new visa if they wish to return.

But, writing in The Guardian, Sir James said the government should be encouraging the brightest graduates to remain in the country and develop their ideas for the benefit of the British economy.

University of East Anglia vice-chancellor David Richardson said the UEA has always been a strong supporter of the opportunities which could be offered to our international students to find work within the UK post-study.

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'We are acutely aware that many of our international postgraduate students not only bring with them a desire to learn from our academic experts, but equally they bring a different world view, a global picture of the developments of industry and technology.

'This is invaluable to the UK economy, as well as to our universities in order for us to continue to play a significant part in the advancement of education worldwide.'

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Norwich South UK Independence Party candidate Steve Emmens said Mrs May was trying to distract voters from the 'real point' that she could not stop internal migration from the EU or EU students staying beyond their courses and being able to claim a full raft of state funded benefits during and after the completion of the course or courses.

Liberal Democrat MP Simon Wright said that cracking down on international students made 'no sense'. 'Locally, we see the benefit to Norwich's economy and to our cultural diversity from students, including those at the UEA and Norwich University of the Arts.

'Theresa May's wrong-headed proposals put all of these benefits at risk.'

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: 'To ensure that we stay at the forefront of these innovative sectors, we need to make sure that we not only retain existing local talent, but can attract overseas talent as well.

'Changes to how overseas graduates apply for their visas to remain in the UK, after the completion of their UK studies could impact on our potential to generate economic growth in these key industries.'

A Conservative party spokesman said: 'We are still deciding what will be in our manifesto and will outline its contents in due course.'

What do you think of the plans? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email

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