World

Britain to study economic impact of foreign students

LONDON: Britain commissioned a report yesterday on the economic impact of foreign students, part of an increasingly heated debate over whether they should be included in the government's target of reducing migration to the tens of thousands.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been under pressure to drop international students from Britain's immigration figures, which have remained stubbornly high despite her pledge as interior minister seven years ago to reduce them to under 100,000 a year.

High rates of immigration into Britain were a major reason for the vote to leave the European Union last year.

But many officials argue that foreign students contribute to the economy.

Immigration has long been a sensitive topic in Britain.

The expansion of the European Union to take in some eastern European countries saw rates jump, which critics said put pressure on public services such as hospitals.

But others argue that immigration helps the economy and a provides a much-needed workforce. - REUTERS

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