Published on February 17, 2014 | by Caroline Schmitt

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International students feel unwelcome in the UK

Students walking up the stairs at LCC

UAL has one of the highest proportion of international students in the UK [Andy Fyles]

More than half of all international students in the UK feel unwelcome, according to a new survey published by the National Union of Students (NUS).

Around half of 3,100 international students polled said the UK government was either ‘not welcoming’ or ‘not welcoming at all’ towards overseas students, with students from Turkey, Japan, Nigeria, India and Pakistan feeling particularly unsatisfied.

Ruyi Yap, a Singaporean graduate from BA Fine Art at Camberwell, partially blames universities’ lack of investment in international students for the results.

“I felt that one should be proactive in blending to a new culture. The problem with British art schools is their resources do not meet the amount of students. The student to resource ratio is way off chart, and it makes me feel milked as an international student,” she told ALN.

Wong also criticised their quick departure from Britain after the course ends: “In the US, students can stay up to one year to gain experience. It’s very unfavourable [that] international students pay this large amount of money and yet are not given the chance to get work experience after graduation here.”

Offensive

The new Immigration Bill will charge overseas students to use the NHS in a bid to avoid health tourism, and carry out targeted checks on bank accounts and rented accommodation.

Dhruv Aditya Dave studied FdA in Fashion Styling and Photography at LCF and went back to his home country India after graduating in 2012.

He said his perception of the UK changed during his stay: “The [UK] government has been especially hard on Indians with the new [immigration] Bill that considered that all Indians visiting the UK must pay £3,000 just to enter the country, to eliminate the ‘riff-raff’.”

Although this proposal was dropped by Theresa May in November, Dave called it “offensive” and added: “I hated how rude the officers were to my parents at the airport and how I’ve also faced mild discrimination by the police.”

The NUS survey found that 19 per cent of overseas students would not recommend studying in the UK to others.

The Independent quoted student leaders who said the figures were “extremely worrying” because overseas students have contributed more than £7.9 billion per year to the UK economy and a drop in applications would result in economic deficits.

 

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