Letter to the Guardian

I wrote a letter in the Guardian today responding to Theresa May’s proposal to kick foreign students out of the UK once they have finished their studies. Numerous UAL international graduates go on to be pioneers and world-leaders in the creative sector. It would therefore be incredibly damaging to the UK economy if we did not remain an open and welcoming study destination for these brilliant students.

The full letter, co-signed by VCs at three other leading creative arts universities, can be read in full below, or viewed on the Guardian website.

“James Dyson (No Theresa May, we need those foreign graduates, 5 January) rightly says that Theresa May’s proposal to train up then kick out brilliant foreign students would be a major barrier to progress. The home secretary’s proposal must be the first deliberate attempt by a mainstream UK politician to stop the brain drain operating in our favour.

“The creative sector would sustain particular damage were this proposal to go ahead. UK universities train a very high proportion of the world’s best graduates in creative disciplines. From film to fine art, design to fashion, the creative industries depend on international networks of practitioners and businesses. These industries now form one of the biggest sectors in the UK economy.

“As James Dyson, himself an art-school graduate, argues in relation to science and technology, our borders must remain open to the world’s best to attract, train and retain highly skilled professionals and to protect our creative industries.”

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