Oppose the Immigration Bill

Facts & Figures

We oppose the proposals in the Immigration Bill as they will penalise our members, damage the higher education sector, and fail in their stated objectives of helping the NHS and improving the UK's public finances. 

International students and the UK




  • International students contributed £7.9 billion to our economy, every year.

    International students pay considerably higher fees than home students. They pay for rent, food, and supplies; they consume everyday goods and support local businesses just like any other student. They pay their taxes, including income tax and VAT.

    Estimates of the value of international students vary, but all of them consider the net contribution of international students to be several billion pounds every single year. Even Migration Watch, an anti-immigration pressure group, value international students as benefiting the UK's exchange earnings by £4.3 billion a year.

    This is a vastly higher contribution than even the most wild estimates of the cost to the NHS. 

  • Estimates of how much international students cost the NHS range from £3 million to £300 million - no one really knows the answer.

    In fact, research by the University of York and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggests that NHS trusts may make surpluses on their treatment of 'health tourists' (those who come to the UK solely for healthcare) - a group that has little in common with students.

  • International students already pay £298 for a Tier 4 Visa; for a postgraduate student with a family, this fee would rise to approximately £3000 if the NHS levy was introduced.

    The most able and innovative researchers have many other options for their research than the UK. Countries such as the US, Australia, South Korea, China and Germany compete with the UK for them. Charging them and their spouses and children will only increase the attractiveness of other countries, and the vitality and strength of science in the UK can only suffer as a result.




International students and Imperial




Last year, 30% of Imperial's students were international (from outside the European Economic Area) - meaning a large percentage of our members would be negatively affected by these changes. We surveyed our members and found the following:

  • 60% would be discouraged from applying to Imperial if these proposals were passed
  • 72% oppose both the NHS levy and the landlord checks
  • 51% claim that paying the NHS levy would be a financial struggle
  • 29% claim they already have trouble renting privately because of their fee status