Hatfield university chief: 'UK's attitude to immigration is schizophrenic'

PUBLISHED: 14:49 22 October 2014 | UPDATED: 14:49 22 October 2014

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire

Archant

The UK has a "schizophrenic" attitude to migration - meaning it misses out on international students, a Hatfield university chief has warned.

Last week the vice chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire called on political parties to remove international students from net migration figures.

In his annual public lecture, Professor Quintin McKellar said: “Education, research and innovation are the pillars of a prosperous, safe and healthy nation.

“While elections are rarely won on higher education policy, they are won on the economy and, in this electoral cycle, on immigration, both of which critically impact universities and are impacted by universities.”

He argued the current funding model for students is “unsustainable” and said the Government should remove a fee cap.

The university boss also told the 200-strong audience on Thursday the UK falls behind other countries on the amount of cash ploughed into research and development.

He urged parties to pledge to match an EU recommendation of three per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Prof McKellar concluded his lecture by stating: “I call on the electorate to put pressure on their politicians to ensure true opportunity for all, create a sustainable funding system which is fair to the taxpayer and graduate, and invest in research excellence which can support the economy and improve society.”

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