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LEARNING LOG RECORD SHEET: Vinay Ramamurthy 06 March 2011

SOURCE/FULL REFERENCE Helm, T. (2011) Universities hit out visa plans for foreign students, Guardian. Co.uk| The Observer, 05.03.11 [online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/mar/05/universitiesvisa-plans-foreign-students [Accessed on 05 March 2011] DESCRIPTION As in the title of the article, In a letter to the Observer, 16 vice-chancellors express 'profound concern' over Theresa May's plans to limit visas. The article speaks about the plans of the UK government to cut down on the number of international students who are arriving at UK each year. It also talks about the different problems the government is facing due to this issue in brief. The vice-chancellors say they are "fully aware" of public concern about abuse of immigration rules by bogus students and colleges, and promise to continue playing their part in combatting it (Helm, T. 2011). Are international students abusing the system? Are they breaking the immigration rules? If so, what necessary actions need to be in taken? How would this affect UKs economy in the future? ANALYSIS (CONCEPTS, EXAMPLES, STATUS OF SOURCE, CRITIQUE etc A vast area of concern to begin with, the article might impact many major areas like the economy of UK, harmful for aspiring international students who are looking forward for their opportunities to excel in various fields of education and cut-down in the wide variety of courses which the universities are able to offer now. Cable and Willetts are known to be deeply concerned about the damage to universities and the economy if the 5bn-a-year income universities get from overseas students is choked off(Helm, T. 2011), now that is a massive amount of decrease in the income for the universities which in-turn might have alternative effects for other businesses which revolve around them. If this supposed to be the case universities will be left with no options other than, limiting the number of courses they offer, cutting down their expenses on research, minimising the staff in work etc, which in no way leads to a positive development of a country. Many people might lose their jobs, local students might not able to study in the areas which they really wanted to and the scope for innovation and new technology would be greatly reduced which makes all the difference to a large extent. Damian Green, the immigration minister, has said that the government is fully aware that attracting talented students from abroad is strongly in the UK's interests but argues that there is a need to be more selective about who can come and for how long. Now the media or the press is in a bias. Instead of the government being more selective, they can think of framing a set of rigid guidelines for students who arrive for their education on their tier 4 general student visas. The UK Border agency can step in with their support if necessary action is to be taken.

As the article also states The Home Office estimates that 14% of language school students on tier four visas, and 26% of those studying in private institutions, are breaking immigration rules(Helm, T. 2011), which in a sense provokes the thought of no proper rules and regulations in place. The plans and ideas like introducing tougher levels of examinations to get into the universities, request for progression rate if the student wish to extend his study, focus on more rigid set of rules can be of some help in solving this massive problem at the moment. A Home Office spokesperson said all views expressed in the consultation would be taken into account. "Any criticism can only be based on speculation as no decisions have yet been made on the changes to the student visa route. However, universities that are confident in the product they have to offer genuine students should have nothing to fear from policies that root out abuses in the student visa system"(Helm, T. 2011). A quite interesting article to be debated on. Could have discussed more on the ways and ideas to eradicate the problem instead of sitting on the safer side of things. USEFULNESS/FUTURE RESEARCH/ACTIVITY PLANNED I would be very keen on following up on this matter and know what the government actually does to solve this problem. An interesting biased situation where many different aspects are to be taken into consideration. References Helm, T. (2011) Universities hit out visa plans for foreign students, Guardian. Co.uk| The Observer, 05.03.11