Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): Will my hon. Friend reject any pressures to change the policy on students coming here in the light of the fact that the OECD estimates that a quarter of students subsequently
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stay on, 120,000 of them settle and 120,000 seek and are granted extensions of their stay while they are here, and there are some 150,000 outstanding illegal immigrants who came here on university visas?
Damian Green: My right hon. Friend makes a number of powerful points. There is, of course, no cap on genuine students coming to study genuinely at genuine institutions, and some of our universities, which are indeed the best in the world, benefit hugely from that. Nevertheless, we have driven out a huge amount of abuse in the student visa system. More than 500 colleges that used to take foreign students can no longer do so because we put in a proper checking and accreditation regime.