English UK welcomes the recommendation by a committee of MPs that the Government should exclude students from its net migration target.
The Home Affairs Committee says it is important that the UK does not fall behind its international competitors by becoming a less attractive option for international students. It also recommends that all students should be interviewed "where it is practical and appropriate to do so."
Tony Millns, chief executive of English UK, which represents more than 450 fully-accredited state and private schools, colleges and universities, welcomed the MPs' adoption of a proposal first made in International Students and Net Migration in the UK, a report published by the IPPR think-tank in May on a commission from English UK.
"If the Government were to take the sensible option, and remove students from the net migration figures -- as do our key competitors in the international education market, the USA, Australia and Canada -- then that must include all those on Tier 4 student visas," he said.
"We know that most international students tend to progress to UK universities from preparatory courses (especially in English language learning) here, so it is vital to make those students feel welcome as well."
Mr Millns did not support the MPs' other recommendation that all students should face interviews by entry clearance officers. He said there was "no evidence" that such interviews were any kind of a safeguard: "In fact the problem of bogus students was at its worst when all student visa applicants were interviewed."