One of Britain’s most renowned inventors today called for skilled graduates from outside the EU to be given better opportunities inside Britain if the UK is to become a global leader in engineering.
Sir James Dyson, the billionaire founder of the Dyson Group, told the BBC’s Breakfast program that Britain “should not chuck out brilliant graduates from outside the European Union” as soon as they are done with their studies.
“One important thing we should do is to keep those engineers in Britain.
“A lot of them come from overseas, in fact, 90% of researchers at British universities come from overseas, and we must encourage them to stay here.”
“I would change our immigration laws to allow the right sort of people to stay here,” he said.
The government’s bid to stem rising immigration has meant that students from outside the EU – particularly from South Asia – have been hit hardest by ever-more stringest visa rules.
The number of students from the sub-continent has seen a dramatic decline since the new rules – including the scrapping of the Post study Work (PSW) scheme – were brought in with new students from India down by nearly half.
A recent US survey also found that an increasing number of students from India are now looking to the United States, particularly for graduate programs.
The number of new Indian students in the US rose by 6% in 2013 – 2014, the first increase in three years according to the American government’s ‘Open Doors’ report on international student traffic into the country.
Sir James’ comments come as his company – famed for its bagless and cordless vacuum cleaners – announced a £1 billion investment into research and development over the next four years.