Thursday, September 16, 2010

cap on non-EU migrants

I got an email a few days ago that was circulated to all staff, notifying us that all of a sudden, the university will only be able to employ a very small number of people from outside the EU. It applies to all universities, see this article. It's a big problem for universities that deserves wider attention, but as yet I haven't seen it discussed in the Times Higher. The article linked-to above quotes the chief executive of Universities UK who spells out the problem clearly:
The proposed cap will be difficult for universities as a significant proportion of the academic workforce is, and always has been, international. In the UK, over 10 per cent of all our academic staff are non-EU nationals and many are working in key subject areas such as science, technology and engineering.


The success of the UK’s higher education sector depends on our ability to attract the most highly talented people to work and study here. Anything that diminishes our ability to do this will undermine the quality of what we do and our ability to compete internationally.

This lamentably crude approach to reducing immigration to the UK does not make one optimistic that they will come up with a more sensible way to regulate overseas students. If they end up choking off the flow of overseas students, that would be complete catastrophe (a short-term one; the impact on staff hiring is a long-term one).


Anonymous said...

St Vince seems to agree:

Paul Goldberg said...

Thanks for pointing that out; also reported here in the Guardian.

Paul Goldberg said...

...and Robert Peston reports on a conversation with the boss of a UK manufacturing exporter, that business needs to import people, since the skills base here is insufficient. (and I would add, will continue to be insufficient if we don't enhance investment in education).