24 June 2014

Frank Field (Birkenhead, Labour)

I thank the Minister for his statement and ask him to share his thoughts on abuse that is occurring by those graduates who break their visa conditions by staying here after they should have left. Is he aware that a number of universities have difficulties over some students—presumably they can speak English—who do not pay their bills at the end of their courses? Those universities do not now award their degrees until the bills are paid. Might he not enter negotiations with the universities to consider that they should also have the responsibility of seeing that students go back home, according to their visa conditions, that degrees will not be awarded until those students are back home, and that the number of visas they can have, which could then be unlimited, will be linked to the numbers who actually return home?

James Brokenshire (Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration); Old Bexley and Sidcup, Conservative)

The right hon. Gentleman makes an important point about the responsibilities of the academic institutions as part of the immigration system. They should ensure that students are attending and that they hold the right information in respect of them. We are seeking to work with the University of Portsmouth and others on the process that we need to put in place to ensure that students leave at the end of their course. It is right to underscore the role that the institutions have and the responsibilities that they hold in accommodating foreign students.