Overseas students should not be part of the debate on immigration, according to the former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine.
Students are "not the sort of people that are causing the anxiety about immigration," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, in response to a new report that suggests the Government should remove them from immigration targets.
He added: "I think that students are really not what people perceive as immigrants."
Foreign students not only bring financial stability to Britain's universities which allow them to maintain standards of excellence but he said they also have an ambassadorial role which students take with them in the world, he said.
More top news
Iain Duncan Smith has called for the Universal Credit waiting time to be cut from six weeks to a month.
The most revealing statement made today was a tweet by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's chief of staff.
The row over Donald Trump's call to a widow of a US soldier rumbles on after the widow claims his words and tone made her "cry even more".