Devolve student visas, says Plaid, as overseas student numbers fall

Welsh Government failing to recruit overseas students, whilst Scotland and England numbers increase

The Welsh Government should have the power to devolve student visas to help universities attract the brightest and best, Plaid Cymru has said.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Llyr Gruffydd said that the Welsh Government is clearly failing to attract sufficient numbers of students to Wales after research found that the number of overseas students studying in Wales decreased, whilst numbers in England and Scotland increased.

He said that giving the Welsh Government the power to issue student visas could streamline the system and bring the best students to Wales.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Llyr Gruffydd said, “The decline in the number of overseas students coming to Wales is worrying. Clearly, the Welsh Government is getting it wrong. Whilst the number of overseas students in England and Scotland increased, the Welsh Government is failing to attract enough students to Wales, and it’s costing our economy around £60 million.

“Overseas students bring new skills, they enrich our communities and cultural life, and they bring important links to other countries.

“That’s why I want to see the Welsh Government have the ability to issue student visas. I want Wales to be able to target the best and brightest students to study here, to contribute their invaluable skills to our universities and to our economy.

“Plaid Cymru wants our universities to be world-renowned centres of excellence drawing people from all over the world. The current system is not working for Wales and we need to take control and responsibility for the issue.”

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