21 Mar 2011

The six social tribes of Britain

A report by the Searchlight Educational Trust into race, multiculturalism and identity shows that Britain is now divided into six social "tribes".

• Confident multiculturalists: 8% of the population, who are most likely to be graduates and entirely comfortable with Britain's multicultural society.

• Mainstream liberals: 16% of the population, who are educated and "see immigration as a net benefit" to Britain and only differ from the first group in their enthusiasm about multiculturalism.

• Identity ambivalents: 28% of the population, who come from less affluent backgrounds and include black minority ethnic groups. "They are more likely to be working class, to live in social housing and to view immigration through the prism of its economic impact on their opportunities and the social impact on their communities,". This group tend to identify with Labour.

• Cultural integrationists: 24% of the population, who are older and more prosperous. They are likely to have concerns about the "impact of immigration on national identity and about immigrants' willingness to integrate". They are more likely to identify with the Tories.

• Latent hostiles: 10% of the population, who are more likely to be older and not educated to university level. "For them, immigration has undermined British culture, public services and their own economic prospects,".

• Active enmity, 13% of the population, who tend to be unemployed and unskilled. They tend to be "opposed to all ethnicities or religions other than their own".

The survey was carried out the Populus polling organisation in which 5,000 people were surveyed.

In an article in the Guardian, David Miliband attacks David Cameron's 'muscular liberalism' and says that there is a risk of significant numbers of identity ambivalents jumping to latent hostility or active enmity.

20 Mar 2011

Some facts about international students in UK

The international student market is valued at up to £40 Billion a year. It is one of the biggest industries in the UK employing thousands of people. It is the second largest contributor to the UK's net balance of payments.

The Home Affairs Select Committee rejected the plans to close down the "post-study-work" route for international students highlighting that all competitors offer those opportunities.

The Home Office wants to reduce net annual migration from outside Europe to below 100,000 from the 2009 level of 184,000. The student route accounts for 139,000 of the 184,000 total annual migrants to the UK. However, there is no evidence that these students are in fact migrants.

Majority of the students go back to their home countries after completing their studies. Only a few stay on for a couple of years to gain work experience.

Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, students do not have access to public funds, meaning that they don't receive any benefits.

Also read:
MPs warn student visa proposals could 'cripple' sector
Overseas students curb could damage colleges, MPs warn

16 Mar 2011

Impact of foreign students on the Welsh economy

According to a recent report international and EU students contributed nearly a quarter of a billion pounds to the Welsh economy. Besides fees, economic benefits included a £23m annual boost to the tourist industry in Wales.

However, the impact of international students goes beyond the money. As the article in Wales Online notes, "Positive experiences of our universities contribute to a higher international profile for our nation and helps foster future business and cultural links."

Read the full article Foreign students bring more to Wales than simply money

Universities more reliant on foreign students

According to a report in The Telegraph, Universities are more reliant on foreign students despite visa fears.

Over a 12 month period (2009/10), money from foreign students increased from £1.8bn to £2.1bn. Fees from International students now make up 9.6% of the total cash raised by higher education institutions in England.

This was disclosed in data from the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council for England.

14 Mar 2011

Jobs ban for immigrants from outside EEA

Following the review of country's skill shortages by the Migration Advisory Committee (Mac), immigrants from outside the European Economic Area will no longer be allowed to work in the UK as chefs in takeaway restaurants, high-integrity pipe welders, airframe fitters, electricity industry site supervisors, sheep shearers, hairdressers, beauty salon managers and estate agents from April, 2011.

Only graduate-level skilled migrants will be allowed to apply to come to the UK from outside Europe.

Non-EU migrants wanting to work as chefs need graduate-level qualifications, with a minimum of five years' previous experience in a role of at least equivalent status to the one they are entering.

Read Eight jobs removed from 'skills shortage' list

6 Mar 2011

University VCs warn that may be forced to close some courses

According to a news report, vice chancellors of 16 UK universities have voiced concern at the new visa restriction proposals and have warned "they may be forced to close some courses unless the Government drops plans to limit UK visas for foreign students".

"International students coming to universities contribute over £5bn each year to the UK economy through tuition fees and off-campus expenditure".

Closing the courses would mean less students and even having to let staff go.

Read the report on the Sky site "Visa Restrictions 'May Close' Uni courses"