IHE responds to MAC report on the Graduate route

Read our response to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report following its rapid review of the Graduate route.

Commenting on the report, Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive of Independent Higher Education (IHE), said: 

“We strongly welcome the MAC’s conclusion from its rapid review of the Graduate route that the policy is working as intended.

“The UK's International Education Strategy has been one of the biggest public policy success stories of the past decade. The Government set itself a clear and ambitious target; designed policies to facilitate it; dedicated civil servants to support it; and collaborated closely with industry partners to achieve it. And it worked – superbly.

“Every country is in a global race for talent, ideas and innovation, and the UK is no different. Our trump cards have long been the excellence and diversity of our higher education sector, the lingua franca status of English, and the cultural power of our creative industries. Our success in attracting the most ambitious young people and professionals from around the world to learn in our higher education institutions has been the most clearcut evidence of our performance in this race.

“International students have choices about where to invest in their future. They are discerning customers who value the stability and security of their investment, and are highly sensitive to political decisions that might put this at risk. The Graduate route has been a key component in rebuilding the UK's competitive position after Brexit and Covid. It provides an essential pipeline of talent into creative careers and professional spheres where entrepreneurs and the self-employed set the pace. Its value is not just to the higher education sector, but as a signal to the world that the UK remains open for business, is confident about its future, and offers a warm welcome to those who choose to play a part in our success.

“We urge the Government to swiftly confirm they will follow their experts’ recommendation that the Graduate visa be retained in its current form, and commit afresh to working with the education sector to maximise the benefits that international students bring to towns, cities and constituencies across every nation and region of the UK.”


IHE acts as the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Students

In July 2023, the APPG conducted an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Graduate visa and called on the UK Government to publicly commit to maintaining the route. The Graduate Visa: An Effective Post-Study Pathway for International Students in the UK? made 10 recommendations, including practical ways to improve the effectiveness of the Graduate visa and the steps necessary to ensure its continued success.

What's new