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  1. ITV Report

No cap on international students in the UK, government says

The government said leading universities can continue to attract the best talent. Credit: PA

The government has insisted that there is no cap on the number of genuine international students coming to the UK to study.

Higher education spokesman Viscount Younger of Leckie said there was no intention on limiting the number of foreign students joining UK universities,

He added that the administration wanted the country's leading institutions to continue to attract the best talent.

He moved to clear up the "potential area of confusion" during the second reading debate in the House of Lords on the Higher Education and Research Bill, in which several peers raised concerns that students remained in the government's targets to cut immigration.

Members of the House of Lords called for international students to be removed from immigration figures. Credit: PA

Members in the Lords also called for international students to be separated from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) net migration figures.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has backed excluding international students from immigration figures, a stance also taken by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Lord Younger said: "We understand and value very much the contribution that international students, staff and researchers make to our HE sector.

"Let me be clear on another potential area of confusion. There is no cap on how many genuine international students can come to study here and we have no intention of limiting how many genuine students can come here to study.

"We want our top universities to continue to attract the best students."