Statement: Lords' vote on international student policy

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, has commented after the House of Lords voted in favour of taking international students out of the UK's net migration targets.

As part of debate of the Higher Education and Research Bill, peers backed an amendment from Lord Hannay of Chiswick which stated that "no student…should be treated for public policy purposes as a long term migrant to the UK, for the duration of their studies".

The amendment was passed by 313 votes to 219. The amendment will next be considered by MPs, who may choose to accept or reject it.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield and founder of the #WeAreInternational campaign supported by over 100 UK universities as well as leading business organisations said:

"We welcome the Lords' vote in favour of the amendment to take international students out of net migration targets. The contribution of international students to our global relationships, the UK economy, education and future economic partnerships cannot be overlooked.

"When we founded the #WeAreInternational campaign - with our students - we set out to fiercely protect the internationalism of our universities and to highlight the immense contribution overseas staff and students make to UK towns and cities.

"We will continue to champion our vibrant international community and encourage the government to recognise its rich contributions to our country, both in word and deed."