07 Oct

Students, yes; overstayers, no


Yesterday saw Home Secretary Theresa May, one of the three favourites to succeed David Cameron as Conservative leader, set out her stall at their party conference in Manchester.

Her speech claimed mass migration was harming social cohesion in Britain and she announced plans to toughen rules on entitlement to asylum.

With concern about immigration at an all-time high here in the UK reaction to this hard hitting speech on immigration has divided opinion, with even the traditionally right-wing press seemingly surprised by it’s hard-hitting tone. The Telegraph’s (often nicknamed the Torygraph) by-line was Theresa May’s ‘chilling and bitter’ measures to send illegal migrants home.

Student visas

The Home Secretary also took a swipe at universities saying that she “doesn’t care” what their “lobbyists” say on overseas students.  She insisted that visa rules for international students need to be “enforced”

The UK welcomed the brightest students from around the world, she said.

“But the fact is too many are not returning home as soon as their visas run out,” she continued.

“I don’t care what the university lobbyists say. The rules must be enforced. Students, yes; overstayers, no.”

There has been speculation for some time that universities may be asked to take over responsibility for ensuring that graduates leave the country once their courses are finished.

Students as part of net migration

The speech didn’t mention international students in the context of the net migrant count. The Home Secretary is in favour of students remaining in the government’s target, whilst others in her party take the more pragmatic approach of removing them.  Remember – just last month it was announced that the government’s target of tens of thousands was in tatters, currently sitting at 330,000 (an all-time high).

There is speculation in the sector that if the government does remove students remove students from the net migrant count the trade-off will be a significant tightening of student visas in return.

What does this all mean?

In our most recent survey of international students they told us that the primary reason that they don’t come to the UK is because of lack of PSW options.  There doesn’t seem to be any chance that this will change.

The UK’s current mood music on immigration is also putting students off – there is a perception, despite our claims to welcome the best and brightest, that we are not open to international students.  This makes the job of anyone working in international recruitment much harder.

Any further visa tightening is likely to be met with more negative publicity in the international student community only increasing the perception that the UK is closed to international students.


21 Apr

Malaysia Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025

On 7 April 2015 the Malaysian Ministry of Education published a comprehensive blueprint for the development and growth of the higher education sector over the coming decade.  It sets out a series of ambitious goals for the sector and an aspiration “to create a higher education system that ranks among the world’s leading higher education systems and enables Malaysia to compete globally.”

The MHEB 2015-2015 has been under development for two years and draws upon input from Malaysian and international education experts as well as global institutions such as UNESCO and the OECD. It forms part of a national plan to be become a developed country by 2020 and represents an outcome of a concerted effort by government to promote higher education.

The Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 follows the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 which set out a similar roadmap for pre-school, primary and secondary education.

The blueprint speaks of a need for “a fundamental transformation of how the higher education system and higher learning institutions (HLIs) current operate” in order for the sector to stay ahead of global trends.

This is articulated through five key aspirations and eight key targets for the sector. Read More

26 Mar

Prime HE News Highlights

The countdown to the election is fully underway, and the role higher education has to play in the next 41 days is no small one. With policy and politics taking the limelight for HE, we explore these and other highlights of recent Higher Education news, including our presence last week at the International Higher Education Forum.



Today Wonkhe has released the top 50 movers and shakers who have the most influence in the Higher Education sector. It’s the first ever HE Power List and Wonkhe hopes that it will be an annual announcement. They pulled together a collection of HE observers and commentators to compile the list, with an emphasis on policy influence – who has the power and interest in order to impact upon higher education policy? Read More

23 Mar

“Selling” the UK

How are you communicating the value and benefit of a UK education Daniel Cunningham Hobsonsto international students?

Nearly 20% of the output generated by UK universities can be attributed to the enrolment of non-EU students (£13.9 billion of £73 billion). The UK has consistently and ranked as one of the most desirable destinations for international study, however this status could be vulnerable to change. In 2013 we saw the first drop in international student entrants to UK higher education courses in nearly three decades. Read More

20 Mar

International Higher Education Conference 2015

There was a great turnout for the International Higher Education yesterday. We shared highlights from our latest International Student Decision Making Survey with a focus on how to promote the value of a UK education to international students, and it was great to hear some of the conversations that this generated.

Download the presentation slides here, if you have any questions give us a call on 0207 250 6622 or email us at emea-markeitng@hobsons.com.

Stay tuned for the release of our 2015 International Student Decision Making report, if you haven’t already download our last International Student Decision Making report here.

Join in the conversation, tweet us @HobsonsEMEA and follow the hashtag #IHEforum15.



18 Mar

What does the future hold for you and your institution?

Mian, Emran.jpg

Emran Mian, Director of the Social Market Foundation

Applications to higher education from UK students are rising. The gap between the application rate of young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds compared to those from the most privileged backgrounds is narrowing. The graduate labour market is improving. You might think it’s time for the political spotlight to move away from higher education. Yet it isn’t going anywhere.

Some of the attention is welcome. Numbers of UK postgraduate students have not been rising. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor promised financial help in the way of government loans. In the meantime the Higher Education Funding Council has a fund to grow programmes in a targeted way.

Read More

17 Mar

Prime H.E. News Highlights

Check this listing for a digest of education policy and research news, with links to the complete articles.

Items added Tuesday 17th March:

03 Nov

New Report Explores the Impact of CRM on Institutional Effectiveness in HE

State of CRM

As student needs and expectations change, there’s a growing demand for determining how to best respond and support students. In an effort to better understand how current HE relationship management tools are supporting students through the entire life cycle of their education, the Hobsons team in the USA have partnered with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), to produce a new report on the use of CRM among HE institutions.

Read More