The government's plan for post-Brexit immigration was published in December 2018, and we shared our initial response: we have now updated that.
What's changed since December 2018?
There have been several very positive developments. One is the publication in March of the Government's International Education Strategy. We were heavily involved in developing this, and it puts ELT at the heart of the plan.
The section on ELT says: "We recognise the important contribution of ELT to the UK's broader international education offer. We must do more to foster partnerships between the ELT sector and other internationally-focused sectors… we can also do more to promote the UK as a study destination for ELT students, through a more proactively positive and welcoming message in the UK." Associated with this are three actions for the DIT:
- to work closely with the ELT sector, providing information to increase their involvement in exporting services and expertise – this includes workshops for providers and training and logistical support to bid for projects and establish overseas centres
- to inform the UK ELT sector of global opportunities linked to other industries, ensuring that providers have the opportunity to take part in a broader range of DIT-led activity where ELT could play a more prominent role
- to utilise its exports pipeline database to exploit opportunities overseas to promote English and ELT as valuable contributors to individual and national prosperity.
The other positive development is the dialogue we have developed with the Home Office during the past months about the specific needs of the UK ELT sector and our response to the White Paper. Not only will English UK be taking part in an expanded sector advisory group, but we have been promised a "bespoke forum" for our response to the White Paper with regard to student recruitment. We have also been assured, in public and private, that the Home Office is aware of the importance of our industry.
This forum will also give us the opportunity to explore issues such as how summer teacher recruitment might be affected by proposed rules on worker visas (as raised by an English UK member at one of our roadshows). We have already been encouraged by the positive response to this issue.
We will be asking English UK members to respond to the consultation on the immigration white paper. This is expected to be conducted through English UK.
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