By Daniel Hunter
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today (Monday) urged more Indian students to come to the capital and take advantage of some of the best universities and colleges in the world, as he called on Government to protect London’s status as a leading global centre for education.
London has more top ranked universities than any other world city, but the Mayor is concerned newly introduced restrictions on student visas, such as limiting a student's right to work during and after their studies, may be having a damaging impact on the city's reputation and economy.
He has written to the Theresa May, the Home Secretary and Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, urging that students are removed from the Government’s net migration target and that new measures are introduced to better protect genuine students if sponsors lose their licences.
The Mayor has also asked the Government to consider setting up an ‘Educational Exports Commission’, which would promote London’s universities abroad and help to secure the future of one of its greatest exports.
"As Mayor I will do all I can to promote London as a place that is open for business and open to the brightest talent in the world," Boris Johnson, said.
"International students not only bring bright ideas that cement the reputations of our leading universities, they have huge spending power that boosts the UK economy.
"The Government is right not to open the door to those who will simply be a drain on the state, but it’s crazy that we should be losing India’s top talent and the global leaders of the future to Australia and the United States."
The Mayor, who is visiting India as part of a trade mission to promote London and highlight it as one of the best places to study, visited the Noida campus of Amity University, which also has a UK base at the Amity London Business School in Bloomsbury.
He took a tour of the Amity University site, south of Delhi, where he met with students, telling them that he would continue to lobby the British Government to ensure that London remains open for international students to come to study.
The Mayor also welcomed plans from Amity to further expand the University's London operation.
Atul Chauhan, Chancellor Amity University, said: "At Amity University we are delighted to have Boris Johnson at our campus. His charismatic personality will ignite a spark amongst the hundreds of Amity students who will interact with him personally and the over 100,000 Amity students around the world who will be able to view the interaction live.
"We will always be proud that Amity's first international campus was established in London three years ago. A great city where I have studied and worked for over six years. Located in a beautiful and listed building in Bedford Square in the heart of academic London, it is the only campus in the UK of an Indian education group.
"With the guidance of the Mayor, it is our aim to now establish a full fledged Amity University Campus in London which will be a "Benchmark of Excellence" in education, research and innovation, attracting some of the best faculty, scientists and students from around the world."
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