...to promote the UK as a global hub for education and training

The UK is a world leader in education and skills, building on centuries of academic excellence and entrepreneurial spirit, and benefiting immeasurably from English being the lingua franca of international business. But with competitors everywhere in the global race for talent, we cannot be complacent.

The road to long-term sustainable growth in our education exports, with all the trade, investment and soft power this can generate, runs through continuous innovation and diversification.

We can leverage our natural strengths to expand both our markets and our supplier base by repositioning the UK as a modern hub of educational expertise, with technical and professional training sitting comfortably alongside more academic pathways.

The next Government should:

9. Launch a new data-driven Global Education and Skills Strategy with an SME exports plan at its heart

Exporting education returns billions to our economy, investing in our institutions and communities. An Exports Data Taskforce should ensure that its full value is captured.

More sophisticated migration statistics are needed to track the temporary inflow and outflow of international students separately from economic and family migrants, to inform better policy and operational planning.

A new strategy should prioritise long-term sustainable growth, with regional plans to distribute the benefits and pressures from international students across the UK.

An SME Export Plan will encourage more providers to export, with SME support services which embed a collaborative approach.

The full breadth of UK expertise should be recognised with a stronger focus on promoting technical and professional education.

10. Commit to a streamlined, consistent and competitive visa system

A transparent and dependable visa offer is critical to maintaining our global position. A simple, competitive student visa should be available to all adult students who choose the UK, streamlining rules to minimise administrative errors and granting all students the same privileges, including up to 25 hours of work per week.

A pathway visa should be introduced for friction-free progression through different courses and levels.

The Graduate route should be strengthened through the creation of a global employability strategy with regional plans, complemented by a Higher Technical Training route for newly qualified technicians to be fast-tracked into shortage roles in key industries.

A 10-year multi-entry visa should promote the UK as the home of lifelong global CPD.

Richmond American University London

Richmond American University London is a small university offering dual UK and American degrees to students from around the globe. For UK students this represents a rare opportunity to attend a university with study abroad opportunities as part of its ethos and an international approach to its courses. The delivery model offers students greater choice than most, providing a liberal arts core where students are not required to decide their ‘major’ until the mid-point of the programme.

A broad range of majors and minors are offered in subjects from computer science and international sports management to psychology and international business. Service learning/volunteering and for-credit internships are offered on every major, and the internship can be taken in the UK or overseas.

Richmond’s international model puts them in a unique position to partner globally, with universities and colleges as well as with industries and community groups. Richmond offers a close-knit community with only 700 undergraduate and 200 postgraduate students, many of whom are international themselves and who help to expand and enrich the educational experience for their UK classmates. Like many specialist universities and colleges, their particular offer can only be delivered with the financial and cultural contribution of international students and international partners.