The British government’s clampdown on overseas student visas is another spectacularly short-sighted coalition policy. But visa restrictions should not be the only thing worrying British universities. The range of factors that make up student experience are destined to become ever more important in the global market for international students.

Overseas students have been a welcome source of income for British universities in need of additional income. The average of £20,000 a year they pay in tuition fees and expenses has been used to subsidise British and EU students whose £3,290 a year only goes part of the way to covering the costs of their education.

By far the majority of these students come from China and India. But the competitiveness of British universities in international league tables and the global importance of English is not enough to explain the attractions of the UK, which is second only to the United States as a provider of higher education to foreign nationals. These students also come to Britain because of an historical legacy that may be about to expire. read the rest of this post at …