Leicester Professor presents before Parliamentary Select Committee

Posted by pt91 at Mar 11, 2014 12:45 PM |
Importance of international students in vital science and technology education to be highlighted

A University of Leicester Professor is presenting before a Parliamentary Select Committee on the subject of science, engineering and technology education.

Professor Helen Atkinson FREng, who was made CBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to Engineering and Education, appears before the Science and Technology Select Committee on Tuesday 11 March presenting on International STEM students.

Professor Atkinson was elected the first woman President of the Engineering Professors’ Council in its fifty year history, the body which represents engineering in higher education throughout the UK. She is Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester and a Vice President and trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering where she chairs the Standing Committee on Education and Training.

She said: “House of Lords Select Committees are a very important part of the parliamentary process. They provide scrutiny of evidence with a Committee of peers representing all political backgrounds.”

The Lords Science and Technology Committee launched its inquiry into International STEM students on January 16. The inquiry aims to find out how the Coalition Government’s immigration rules may be having an impact on international students.

The key changes brought in by the Government have included the withdrawal of the post study work visa which had given overseas graduates the automatic right to work in the UK for two years.

In particular, the inquiry seeks to find ask:

  • Are changes to immigration rules having an adverse effect on prospective international STEM students choosing to study in the UK?
  • Is there a perception that these new policies could be sending out unwelcoming messages abroad?
  • How have the numbers and demographics of STEM students in the UK changed since the introduction of policy reforms on immigration?
  • Do we have enough data to enable links between cause and effect to be understood?
  • Are prospective international students fully aware of immigration policy and do universities and the Government need to improve how they communicate immigration rules?
  • As a result of immigration policy, are UK universities now losing out internationally?

Watch the Parliamentary Select Committee online.