Absolutely right that @UniversitiesUK and @UUKIntl should put pressure on govt to change visa requirements for overseas students. For the last 15 years my academic role has included recruiting students from overseas. Here are a few of my thoughts. /1 bbc.co.uk/news/education…
Most of the attention in this debate is the money that overseas students inject into the national, and local, economies. That is only part of the story. UK Universities have a proud tradition of being international - it is not just about the money. /2
Being international exposes UK students (and staff) to different ways of thinking. All of which are increasing required in a global working environment (even if you never leave home). /3
Most students have a great experience in the UK. And most will go back home pretty much straight away. They will leave as ambassadors for the UK - an underestimated aspect of the UK's soft power. "Global Britain", if you like. /4
The UK has had great success in attracting overseas students over many years. But the temptation is sometimes to refer to these students as 'foreign'. This is wrong, because it suggests that they are additional to the 'real' (i.e. 'home') students we really care about. /5
I've written more about that point here: theconversation.com/why-we-need-to… /6
Reasons UK is successful include historical links and openness of institutions. Often students come to the UK and particular universities because of family members and friends. There is a critical mass of advocates for the UK University system which transcends generations. /7
Unfortunately, these links risk being broken by policy and rhetoric often seen as the #hostileenvironment for irregular migrants. At education exhibitions across the world, potential applicants have been put off by the criminal law-esque language used in visa documentation. /8
It is a pretty valid question: "Why should I come to the UK and spend huge amounts of money on tuition and living expenses when all the rhetoric is about getting migration numbers now? Why am I a 'migrant' in this sense?" /9
The removal of the right to work post-graduation for a year led to an immediate drop in applications: just as other countries put similar schemes in place. Australia, with its proximity to Asia, quality Unis and favourable climate, benefitted from this. /10
The big picture problem is that once those informal links are lost for a generation, it will be nearly impossible to get them back. Especially as more and more countries across the globe attempt to get a piece of the lucrative pie. /11
The knock-on effects risk undermining what makes UK universities great: their internationalisation. The #WeAreInternational campaign is not just about highlighting diversity, but the very real advantages for economy, society and people to people links that higher ed embodies. /12
Being in an international place of learning is why I wanted to become an academic. In post-#Brexit, "Global Britain", the UK govt needs to decide what message it sends to the world. Stopping treating potential overseas students as a migration problem would be a start. END

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More from @Cardwell_PJ

Oct 2, 2018
UK govt claims it wants an EU "deal", with a few weeks left. So, the Foreign Sec compares the EU to a Soviet prison, dashing hopes that the insults of his predecessor will now be replaced by moderation and alienating EU members UK badly needs on side. /1 theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/o…
Today, the Prime Minister doubles down by trying to focus attention on the new post-Brexit migration policy. In doing so, she proudly announces on #r4today that free movement will end. This alone is being blind to the fact that it means no more movt for Brits (if they care?) /2
Insisting on the end of FOM also says to the EU explicitly that their citizens will no longer be able to come to the UK because the UK wants 'high skilled only'. Ergo, EU workers are low-skilled and therefore undesirable. /3
Read 11 tweets
Sep 24, 2018
Following the sending of the Article 50 revocation case from the Court of Session in Scotland to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU or ECJ) in Luxembourg, there seems to be some confusion over what the Court is and does. So a reminder of the law on this would be worthwhile. /1
First, the 'law' here means the Treaties (Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Treaty on the Functioning on the EU (TFEU)). These are the highest source of EU law and the signatories are the Member States. So, if something is in the Treaties, the MS must want it there. /2
The Court is an institution of the EU (Article 13 TEU) and, like other institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council) must act within its powers. Its main role is to "ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed." (Article 19(1) TEU). /3
Read 15 tweets
Sep 3, 2018
Imagine for a moment that you are trying to explain UK politics and Brexit to a visitor who has no experience of either. /1
First, you have a referendum which was promised by a party who won an election. Fine. But there is no planning for one outcome of the election, despite the same government having had a recent close call with another referendum (Indyref) showing how close they can be. /2
One campaign is led by a man who decides at the last minute that he will support this side, having previously identified (and done speeches, TV programmes and books to prove it) for the other side. /3
Read 8 tweets
Sep 2, 2018
Barnier speaks a lot of sense here, and it gets to the heart of the oft-heard argument in the UK of "we want trade but nothing else". /1 theguardian.com/politics/2018/…
For those making the "trade and nothing else argument", trade is generally understood to mean trade in goods. Which is paradoxical, given the importance of services for the UK economy. /2
Anyone who knows anything about the single market is fully aware that attachment to the four freedoms (goods, services, capital, people) is not just because it is hard-wired into the DNA and identity of the European Union but also because of the inseparable links between them. /3
Read 7 tweets
Aug 23, 2018
This is basically just a statement of what we know about #NoDealBrexit. Only in the last two paragraphs so we get anything about Labour’s vision. /1 theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
And despite the criticism of the Tory approach, there is precious little new or inspiring of confidence here. /2
What are UK-EU “common institutions” and why should the EU have the expense and bother of these just to satisfy a leaving state? /3
Read 4 tweets
Aug 23, 2018
What does #NoDealBrexit mean for #Erasmus? We already knew that the UK govt was going to fund successful bids before 2020 and has encouraged UK institutions to apply. But there are still things to note in the technical notice on Erasmus /1 gov.uk/government/pub…
Erasmus is fundamentally about mobility, there is a big question mark over the conditions of how people move UK-EU and EU-UK. The notice says: "The govt will need to reach agreement with the EU for UK organisations to continue participating in Erasmus+" /2
Which does not make sense: if there is no deal, then how can there be discussions about an "agreement"? It continues with "the government will engage with member states and key institutions to seek to ensure UK participants can continue" - but how? Bilateral agreements? /3
Read 11 tweets

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