Student Visas

Mr. Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster) (Con): In recent years I have been on the advisory board of the London School of Commerce.

I want to ask the Home Secretary about post-study work, as did my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Nicola Blackwood). I have slight reservations. Given the excellence of our offering and the idea that we will get some phenomenally innovative students from across the globe who will go back as ambassadors for this country, has any research been done in the Home Office showing that we might lose some of those students to places such as the United States or Australia, or are we confident that the changes will have no such adverse impact?

Mrs Theresa May (Home Secretary): I am happy to tell my hon. Friend that there is no evidence that that will be the upshot. Our system is similar to those in operation elsewhere. It is wrong to say that the United States has a formal post-study work route; it does not. There are some abilities for people to stay and do some work in the United States, but they are different. Indeed, in some ways our requirements will continue to be less tough than those in countries such as Australia.