The British Council has warned UK Universities not to treat foreign or international students as “cash cows” as recruitment drives pick up by schools in the UK to attract more students from abroad. The stark warning comes as declining budgets mean that Universities are looking at other avenues with which increase their cash flow. International Students are one way that most Universities are looking to increase their revenues and plug the gap from falling budgets – as most can and will charge international students full tuition fees.
The British Council fears that the new attention to aggressively recruit foreign students will undermine the reputation of higher education learning in the UK. British Council chief executive Martin Davidson said: “It would be seriously counter-productive and, in the long run, potentially self-defeating, for universities to focus on intensifying student recruitment drives as a knee-jerk reaction to current financial difficulties and state funding cuts.
“International students have more study options today than ever before, and in an internet-connected world word quickly spreads when it appears a university regards them as little more than ‘cash cows’.