Were you hiding under a rock for the last few years? You made so many(possibly deliberate) misreadings in this "opinion piece" that it may even be a new record.

I'll just give one example:

MAC: "half of students go home when their graduate visa expires."

Your read this as: "Today’s MAC report notes that a very large share of those who switch out of the student or graduate routes go to work as care workers".

What a joke...

Also using post-covid data(for which you didn't give a source) to support your distorted views is next level tory chess move.

You are just confused what "importing brains" means. There is a reason governments have settlement routes.

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US which has successfully commercialised higher education enrolls around 1000k internation students. OPT which is equivalent to PSW is 1 year for normal degree and 3 years for STEM and they have to work as per their Major. At the end only 20000 H1B visas are blocked for OPTs. A country with Higher education infrastructure at least 100 times of UK can make such restrictions and yet make it attractive, yet UK has to lure below average youths from Developing country for 3 years low wage work permits. Quality of education is definitely going down and it is grave injustice to those who are giving their sweat for GCSE, A level and University education here to share the same platform as below average international students whose objective is only to do low wage work on the pretext of education.

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Doesn’t the careful framing of the question, and your comment in the first paragraph pretty much show that the Conservative party has absolutely no intention of controlling migration? Indeed, it would be hard to argue today that it is actually the Conservatives who are the party of completely open borders.

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This government makes me so angry!

They had a clear instruction from their voters to REDUCE immigration numbers. It is why we voted for them and why we voted for Brexit.

They didn't have to do anything clever. They just had to avoid doing anything stupid. But ever step has been a misstep! The Graduate visa! The foreign student 600k target! Allowing students to bring dependents! Allowing care workers to bring dependents! Going out shopping for foreign Health and Care workers from the third world (which is immoral as well as stupid)! Setting the minimum salary for work visas below the average UK salary! Massively expanding the Shortage Occupation (read: jobs that can undercut locals) list! The Hong Kong scheme! And crucially, not setting a hard limit on the number of visas issued.

They could just have ended EU Freedom of Movement, set a max number of work, family and protection visas, not changed the Study visa regime and had total net numbers down to the 150k mark.

If they had done that AND done the Rwanda scheme, they would have been competitive now in the polls.

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This is a dogs dinner. Students shouldn’t even be in the calculation of immigration, especially since, whatever about the 600,000 target, they help fund what is still - somehow - one of the best university systems in the world. Anyway, as Jonathan Portes points out, anyone who’s aim is just to work can get a care worker visa and go and look after some of the people who moan the loudest about immigration. Moreover, if people work, students or otherwise, they pay taxes and help fund public services. If they don’t pay taxes then the government should be going after their employers (it doesn’t because Neil and his colleagues have spent the past 14 years getting their underwear in a twist about immigration rather than doing anything constructive about tax avoidance/evasion).

And in what world does a graduate, British born or not, waltz into a £30+k/year job just after graduation? Don’t bother answering-it’s the fantasy world in Neil’s head.

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To be a net contributor, that is to pay more in tax than you consume in costs, you need to have an income of around £41k. It’s one of the slights of hand some economists use to argue that because you pay tax you contribute more in to the UK than you take out.

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