The fiasco at London Metropolitan is making every university with non-EU students sit up and rub its eyes. While British people of all ethnicities may well be becoming more hawkish on immigration, the proposed clampdown on student visas seems designed to appeal to those whose idea of Britain is not imaginative or comprehensive.
Teaching on the master’s in creative writing at the University of East Anglia – which last year won a Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher and Further Education – I have encountered students from China, Sweden, India and North America. The Man Booker fellowship at UEA has twice been awarded to Canadians. The next two years will see young writers from Brazil, Singapore, Nigeria and the Philippines arrive in Norwich, newly dubbed a Unesco city of literature. A third of the 2012-13 intake will be non-EU.