World Bulletin/News Desk
International students will be expected to pay a contribution to the National Health Service after a second reading of the UK's immigration bill was debated and voted on in parliament with only 18 MPs voting against it.
Speaking in parliament, Home Secretary Theresa May said, “Temporary migrants seeking to stay in the UK for more than 6 months will have to pay an immigration health surcharge, on top of their visa fee.”
International students already pay higher tuition fees than their British counterparts and there are fears that international students may choose to study in other countries.
National Union of Students International Students Officer Daniel Stevens said, “International students will choose other countries who do not impose these restrictions over the UK. The immigration bill seeks to drive more international students to other countries, to the detriment of UK education.”
International students contribute £7.9 billion to the UK economy, according to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
“52% of recently surveyed international students already feel unwelcome to the UK because of government policy. These changes are likely to cause a further negative perception of the UK as a place to study,” said Stevens.
He also called the bill “unworkable” and said it is being used for “political gain.” The bill has come under fire from student groups and human rights organisations which fear it will lead to discrimination against foreigners.
The bill will also, cut the number of appeals against deportation decisions from 17 to four; increase the maximum fine for employing illegal immigrants to £30,000; and make banks and landlords check the status of immigrants.
The bill will receive a third reading in parliament before it goes on to the House of Lords.Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2013, 16:40