“Shortsighted”: NUS UK responds to Conservative pledge to increase cost of visas by 25%

The National Union of Students has branded the pledge self-destructive and ideologically driven. 

The Conservative Party has kicked off the third week of General Election campaign by pledging to fund 8000 more police officers across the UK with a 25% increase on the cost of all visas. This would have a significant impact on international students, preventing many from coming to study in the UK. 

NUS UK has criticised the move as one that would negatively impact every student’s university experience by cutting off opportunities to come into contact with different cultures and make friends from all over the world. 

They have also called the policy “self-destructive”, pointing out that universities rely on the fees paid by international students because the government does not fund education as is necessary. 


Commenting, Ellie Gomersall, NUS Scotland President, said: 

“International students are our friends. They improve everyone’s university experience by giving us opportunities to interact with different cultures and build cross-border friendships.  

“Making it harder for international students to come to the UK will negatively impact every university and every student. International students contribute their passion and expertise to our education system; they are integral to maintaining the UK’s reputation as a world-leader in higher education. 

“Moreover, immigration is good for the UK. We rely on international workers, who work in all our most essential and valued sectors, including the NHS, care work, building and food production. Research by Universities UK found that international students benefitted the UK economy by £41.9billion in 2021/22. 

“It’s critical that the next government properly invest in public services, but they must do so by taxing the rich and redistributing wealth, not by targeting international students and immigrants as part of their cruel and divisive culture war.” 

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