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NUS responds to Immigration Health Surcharge
Yinbo Yu, NUS International Students' Officer responds to the news that the UK immigration health surcharge is to double on 8 January 2019:
'Since the Immigration Health Surcharge was brought into law in 2015 NUS and the International Students’ Campaign have been lobbying to scrap it. We are disappointed to hear the news that despite our protestations, the surcharge has doubled today regardless.
With the government’s own figures stating the ‘health surcharge’ only accounts for 0.3% of total NHS spending it is ludicrous to suggest that doubling the fee for temporary migrants and international students will combat the serious issues facing the health service in this country. Further anti-international student policies will do nothing to globalise and diversify our educational spaces. HEPIs report showed that international students are not trying to exploit the system nor are a drain on public services in the UK. In fact they contribute £22.2 billion annually – it is a complete kick in the teeth to non-EEA students who already pay significantly higher tuition fees than home students to now have to pay an even higher counter-intuitive and ineffective surcharge to access NHS facilities.
We would invite the government to reflect on the extent to which these kind of policy decisions act as deterrents to international students deciding to study here. If they truly want UK higher education to remain world class and accessible in a post-Brexit environment they must scrap these arbitrary policy changes immediately.”