The impact of the new Tory government on the university sector

By Avarina Wilson-Dyer-Gough

It is 4 weeks since the Conservatives were voted back into government. Along with their return to power and the loss of the Lib Dem coalition, there are new policies and a new cabinet office all set to directly impact the future of the university sector. At Spencer du Bois we have been asking 'what impact will the returning Conservative party have on the university sector?'

One of the most prominent issues is the proposed reduction of international student numbers. In the Conservative manifesto they promised to reduce net migration to below 100,000 per year, a target that will include international students. However, by including students in this figure it negates the impact and contributions that international students provide to the UK. A recent study by London First found that international students contribute £2.8bn towards the UK economy, through consumer spending, housing and university fees. In addition international students also contribute to our wider economy through their knowledge and skill sets. The new minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, echoes this belief. The brother of Boris, Jo has publicly discussed his strong belief that overseas students should be taken out of the government’s net migration figures.

So, should this new majority Conservative government not be placing more importance on how these overseas students strengthen and benefit our society, during and after their education, instead of viewing them as yet another drain on society? Should they also be thinking about how to solve the cost of living crisis faced by students? We think so but we will just have to wait and see what they do.