It is heartening to see support for the export market in university education from Gillian Keegan, the Education secretary, in contrast to Suella Braverman's proposal to cut the length of the Graduate Visa. The tension between the two views is however, indicative of a wider tension in the UK government's current immigration policy. On the one hand there is a clear political impetus to meet stringent migration targets. On the other hand, there is an unquestionable economic benefit from both overseas student migration and the migration of skilled workers, who fill real gaps in the UK labour market. The question for the coming months is how that tension plays out.
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UK immigration policy - the inherent tension
Keegan said of the sector: “It’s world-leading, a great advert to our country. We have a strategy which is very much focused on growing the revenue.” The Treasury is also opposing any reforms that will damage universities.