Ignore net migration target,
says chair of Migration
Advisory Committee

Professor Alan Manning, the chair of the group that recommends immigration policy to the government, has told universities to pretend that the net migration target ‘doesn’t exist’.

Speaking at a seminar on international student recruitment on Friday, he remarked that the eight-year target of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands was ‘conspicuous by its absence’ in the recent White Paper.

He believes ‘the government actually doesn’t pay any attention to it any more’. He continued:

‘My advice to people who worry about the net migration target is to say just pretend it doesn’t exist….[It] is not really influencing policy on student migration at all at the moment and if you keep on mentioning it you’re actually drawing attention to it and pretending it’s a problem when actually it really isn’t’.

He claimed that ‘removing students from the net migration statistics would make almost no difference to the actual figures,’ even when accounting for potential growth in the number of international students in the UK over time.

Professor Manning’s comment comes as the government announced that by 2021 EU students will need to apply for a study visa.

Other changes include giving foreign students the right to stay for up to six months after graduating to look for work and PhD students for up to a year.


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