English UK co-ordinates joint statement from international educators to next government
13 December 2019

English UK and six other industry stakeholders have today issued this joint letter to the national press and other outlets drawing the attention of the incoming government to the importance of our industry.

Our letter to the new Government: what it says

As representatives of organisations which welcome at least 750,000 international students to the UK each year, we want to ensure the incoming Government supports our work through both words and actions.

The UK is recognised globally for the quality and range of our education system, yet our competitors are increasing their market share. 

The benefits of international education go far beyond the economic, although with exports worth over £21bn in 2017 that is impressive enough. Our nation attracts dynamic young people to make their educational journey with us - perhaps starting as children in boarding school, teenagers on short language holidays or young adults in college - before moving on to higher education. They, and their adopted communities, tell us how much they value learning from each other and exploring each others' cultures.  Later, the UK can reap the benefits of their skills as well as their desire to become influencers for us, supporting good diplomatic and trading relationships. 

Brexit is going to make all this more important. So how can the government help us to help the UK?

We want the Government to build on its International Education Strategy, investing more to promote the diversity and breadth of UK education and grow our market share. We want to hear more warm words of welcome for all students and student travellers. We want an immigration and visa system which makes it as easy as possible to enjoy an educational experience here, ideally allowing our European friends to continue with ID card travel and to encourage growth from new markets around the world. We want the UK to benefit from students' skills by allowing them to work while they're here and when they graduate. And we want the Government to commit to continue with the EU's Erasmus + scheme which supports international learning. 

  • Emma Meredith, International Director, Association of Colleges
  • British Educational Travel Association
  • Sarah Cooper, Chief Executive, English UK
  • Alexander Proudfoot, Chief Executive, Independent Higher Education
  • Julie Robinson, Chief Executive, The Independent Schools Council
  • Anne Marie Graham, Chief Executive, UKCISA
  • Vivienne Stern, Chief Executive, Universities UK International
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