Chartered ABS response to new government restrictions on student visas

The government have announced restrictions on international students bringing dependent family members to the UK whilst they study. The ban will be applied in January 2024 on all student visas other than postgraduate research routes.

Commenting on this week’s announcement Professor Robert MacIntosh, Chair of the Chartered ABS and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Business and Law at Northumbria University, said, “The UK benefits hugely from the international students studying in our business schools, in everything from the diversity and outlook in our classrooms to the financial benefits to both universities and the economies in which they sit.  Our business schools, which are world renowned, owe much to the unique and different experiences and insights of their foreign students.

"Research by HEPI has shown the financial benefits from international students to be £41.9billion (from the 2021-22 cohort), benefiting all regions of the country. This is a 33% increase in the net economic benefit to the UK economy compared to the 2018-19 cohort – a valuable economic injection that this policy looks set to threaten. As business schools account for one-third of international students studying in the UK, they make a huge contribution to this economic impact for the country.

“Importantly, we must not lose sight of the significant 'soft power' of our international students in promoting the UK when they return home or work abroad and the Government should be encouraging students to come here for a period of study and an agreed post-study period. This announcement runs the significant risk of damaging both the UK's growth agenda and the international appeal of the UK’s university and business school sector which is a real success story.”

Statistics from our recent report on Student Enrolments in Business & Management Studies show how important international students are to UK business schools and our universities:


  • Non-EU international students comprise 37% of the student population in UK business schools
  • At postgraduate level 70% of all students in UK business schools are non-EU international
  • UK Business schools have more non-EU international students than any other subject area and account for one-third of all international students in the UK
  • If including EU and non-EU students, 41% of the student population in UK business schools is from outside the UK