HC Deb 16 December 1999 vol 341 cc254-5W
Mr. Ben Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to increase the number of students studying in the UK and ensure that the target number of students from(a) China and (b) Hong Kong by 2000–01 will be met.[102701]

Mr. Wicks

I have been asked to reply.

In June 1999 my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced an initiative to attract to the UK an extra 75,000 international students by 2005. The target relates to students who do not warrant a home fee classification. China and Hong Kong have priority in this initiative but recruitment targets have not been set for particular countries.

The initiative includes four main components. First, a world-wide marketing campaign, using a "UK Education Brand" and marketing materials to promote the high quality of UK education, will begin early in 2000. There will be enhanced promotion activity in many regions, including China and Hong Kong, where British education exhibitions, clearing missions and MBA fairs are planned. Second, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs aims to expand the Chevening Scholarship Scheme, with up to 1,000 extra scholarships awarded each year. Third, we have made it easier for international students to work part-time and in vacations. Fourth, visa and entry procedures are being made more user-friendly for students. Through this package of measures the Government are helping UK education institutions to increase their marketing capability overseas and thereby increase international student enrolments.

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