Oil and Gas Sector Skills (International Students)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd May 2013.

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Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

The short answer is that we need independence. We need to have control of our migration and immigration policy. That would ensure that we set policy that was suitable for Scotland, not policy that was set for other places.

Our universities and colleges have a global reputation, but the most important thing is that we ensure that, apart from having a reputation for excellence, they have a reputation for welcoming overseas students. The problem is that the way in which the UK Government is handling this matter means that it is becoming unwelcoming in that regard, and we are losing students as a result. All university and college principals know that. We should be working together to change that situation, and the only proper way to do so is for the Scottish Parliament to have full control of the policy.