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Higher Education and Research Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 26th April 2017.

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Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 3:45 pm, 26th April 2017

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his continued and thoughtful engagement with this issue. We look forward to continuing to work with him as we develop the guidance that will be given to the OFS. As we have said previously, we do not expect that there will be a one-size-fits-all approach. We need an approach that recognises the particular circumstances at different institutions. We look forward to continuing to engage closely with the hon. Gentleman in the coming weeks and months, subject to the results on 8 June.

It is vital for this country that we have a healthy democracy that works for everyone. The Government share the aim of increasing the number of students and young people who are registered to vote. It is vital that the views of students and young people are taken into account in the democratic process, and our amendments will help to deliver that.

Last but by no means least, amendments (a) to (c) in lieu of Lords amendment 156 relate to international students. I reiterate that the Government value and welcome international students who come to study in the UK. We recognise that they enhance our educational institutions, both financially and culturally, enrich the experience of domestic students, and become important ambassadors for the UK in later life. It is for those reasons that we have no plan to limit the number of genuine international students who can come to study in the United Kingdom. I need to be very clear that that commitment applies to all institutions. We have no intention of limiting any institution’s ability to recruit genuine international students. We have no plans to cap the number of genuine students who can come to the UK to study, or to limit an institution’s ability to recruit genuine international students based on its TEF rating or on any other basis.