A letter to the Times highlighting the need for the government to ensure that the most talented scientists are attracted to the UK. The letter is endorsed by eight Nobel Prize Winners
Science and engineering are international, collaborative endeavours. As such, issues affecting immigration policy may have a direct affect on UK’s science and engineering workforce and output. CaSE is at the forefront of defending the knowledge and skills exchange vital for scientific progress, examining how changes to visa provisions, settlement rights and immigration caps, among other issues, may affect industry and academia.
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By Katherine Barnes, Science Writer
Backlash over the Government’s interim cap on non-EU migrants continued this week, with scientists and engineers from academia and industry criticising the scheme and warning of its impact on the economy. University leaders are now protesting against a “double whammy”, with impending cuts to the science budget and an immigration cap that limits their ability to bring in top talent from abroad.
The government’s temporary cap on migrants was imposed on 28 June, in order to prevent a sudden swell in visa applications before a more permanent limit is brought in next year, but the limit was based on the number of overseas staff recruited in 2009, in the depths of recession.
CaSE briefing about the government’s plans to put in place a ‘migrant cap’ on non-EU immigrants. The document urges the government to make exceptions for qualified, competent scientists from the cap, not doing so could have adverse effects for UK universities and hinder the recovery of the economy.
This document outlines CaSE’s views on the potential damage that could result from a cap on non-EU scientists coming to the UK. It stresses the importance of scientists and engineers to the economy and gives an analysis of the ways in which exceptions can be made.
CaSE recommends that a method is found to exclude qualified and competent scientists and engineers from the migration cap. These people will have a vital role to play in the UK’s economic growth and in solving some of our urgent challenges.
Science tends to get on fairly well without legislation and lawmaking, so we weren’t anticipating a lot of science or engineering news from the Queen’s Speech this morning. But there are three issues which we’d like to flag up for your attention; the cap on economic migrants, schools reform, and possible reform to the House of Lords.
These potential reforms are in their early stages, but we’d be keen to hear what you think CaSE’s response should be. You can either leave a comment on the blog, or email me at imran[at-nospam]sciencecampaign.org.uk
The Queen said that her Government will “limit the number of non-European Union economic migrants entering the United Kingdom”. This is part of the coalition’s aim of reducing migration to “tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands”.