Chartered ABS and BAM recommend removing £30K salary threshold from future immigration system proposals

22 November 2019, London: The British Academy of Management and the Chartered Association of Business Schools have recommended the removal of the £30,000 salary threshold in a joint statement to the Migration Advisory Committee’s consultation on the salary threshold and points-based system proposed for the UK’s future skills-based immigration system.

The business and management academic community play a crucial role in delivering UK growth, innovation, and prosperity.  In our evidence, we point out that at least 1 in every 3 business and management academics are of international origin, and we provide detailed evidence of the numbers of international staff in business and management by contract type and by the UK region in which they are working.  These international staff often bring with them number and data skills that are in short supply in the UK, and which would be difficult to replace from the current pipeline of UK post-graduates. Moreover, EEA-origin staff account for roughly half of the international academics in our field, and they will need to acquire a work visa for the first time under the proposed new migration system.

Academics on fixed-term and atypical contracts are among the most likely to be affected by the £30K annual pay threshold proposed in the government’s white paper. Annual pay scales for research and teaching assistants, for example, can hover just below this threshold, especially outside of London and the Oxford-Cambridge corridor. And – as in many disciplines across the UK – the proportion of international staff in business and management studies on fixed-term and atypical contracts is higher than those on open-ended contracts.

Dr Ashley Lenihan, BAM’s Head of Policy and Engagement said:

“The UK needs an immigration system that is flexible, simple, easy to navigate, and welcoming, if it truly wants to ensure a research and innovation system that can continue to support UK growth and prosperity. Together, we highlight that removing the proposed £30K annual pay threshold for skilled migrants will be but one key move (among many) needed to ensure that the future immigration system is fit for purpose.”

Anne Kiem, Chief Executive, Chartered Association of Business Schools said:

“Business schools teach more students than any other subject in our universities, contributing £13.5billion to the UK economy annually. We must have an immigration system which allows institutions to recruit the talented academics required to meet the demand for British business courses and to carry out the research which has wide-reaching impact across our economy society.”

Read our full response to the Migration Advisory Committee: