EU launches consultation on rules for international researchers, students and pupils

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The European Commission has published a consultation doscument seeking the viewof people on the rules the Union should adopt on the entry and residence of non-EU researchers, students, school pupils, unremunerated trainees and and volunteers.

The exercise is intended to assist member states adopt policies that will ensure that the European region continues to provide an environment in which “the brightest minds” are able to work together to promote “the flow of knowledge and ideas and benefits gllobal economic development.”

The EU has set up a number of programmes aimed at stimulating the mobility of non-EU students and researchers, like Erasmus Mundus and the Marie Curie initiatives. The Erasmus programme also has rthe possibility of supporting international student exchanges within the EU countries, allowing people to spend between 3 and 12 months at a higher education institution in another participating country.

The Commission wants to know if the rules which permit researcher, students and the other groups to come to members states can be improved.

The consultation comes at a time when the UK is toughening up its policies on the admission of international students in order to support its efforts to drive down net migration figures. This is happening at the same time as a general trend towards the liberalisation of student policies in other countries.

The European Commission is inviting the widest possible range of people to contribute their ideas and experiences to the consultation. You can access the consultation document and response form at http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=Immigration2012

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