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
Marks and Spencer will become the first UK retailer to add vitamin D to its entire packaged bread range.
An over-the-top 80's action movie parody featuring kung fu Hitler and a David Hasselhoff soundtrack gets almost four million views online.
The government is treating the fight against obesity as a priority, as a new report cautions that one in five cancer deaths is caused by it.