Showing posts with label Business School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business School. Show all posts

Monday, 1 January 2018

Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence: International Students

Impact of International Students in the UK: 
Call for Evidence Responses - part 1 of 3 - page 217 from "Individual C" it says.

Introduction: some suggestions with reasons further-down.
shows economics courses with worst student feedback getting most international students, and so making most money because some of the international fees are much higher.

This response is made without funding and without great short-term memory so it rambles under some of the headings. Thanks for patience in reading the bits that ramble, particularly because I've just written something quite rude and the theme continues. My name and address are at the end, with archive links to pages that caught the 26th January deadline for evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee.

Lobby data doesn't mention "crowding" or "full" next to student migration
The Greater London Authority changes it to "agglomeration"

Lobby data is commissioned by lobbyists from Oxford Economics or London Economics.

Crowding is my word for housing & transport overload that could be mentioned under most of the headings below. For housing, or tickets, or space in the congestion zone, or polluted air, or tiny bits of space shared with too many people. As someone who lives in a crowded city, I don't think it works very well. Any provider of services finds it expensive to hire staff and space in crowded inner cities, and so harder to run services. Meanwhile there are disproportionate needs for staff to run parts of the housing and transport systems at inefficient maximum capability, just as health and social care are run at maximum capacity everywhere. It would be good to read about why immigration is bad for cities that are full from the most full city - London - but any statements are hard to find.

The Greater London Authority publishes speeches from the Mayor and reports from GLA economics. Unfortunately they report what lobbyists tell them, except lobbyists don't mention "crowding" or "full", while the GLA mentions "agglomeration".

International students often take courses with bad feedback, in expensive areas like London

If both colleges closed, the world would be a happier place.
Both teach in the most expensive areas of London.
Both do a lot of business with government, for example through London Fashion Week, working with the Greater London Authority on the Queen Elizabeth Park Project, or teaching students on Chevening Scholarships, so governement departments could be making the problem worse or have a chance to make it better.

I don't have the spreadsheet data or the skill to link every course's feedback with the proportion of international students on that course. The data isn't free and I am not deft with spreadsheets, but the example of a troubled subject like economics at the colleges that take most international students, most often in financial subjects, could say something about all the other courses that international students do. By chance a lot of international students from the far east study at London College of Fashion and other University of the Arts colleges, putting them in the same league table of colleges with most international students which is nearly the same as the league table of colleges with least satisfied students, as you can see on (archived page)
When the Migration Advisory Committee published their report, with access to paid-for data and some quite nifty regression skills, they read the evidence a differently.  gives the result in Annex D. The difference is partly that they measure satisfaction on the "overall" measure rather than "intellectually stimulating", and they measure all courses rather than the extreme ones like business studies courses in central London. Beyond, that, I have not quite caught-up.

How to help international students find better courses in cheaper areas.

The Higher Education Funding Council

could restrict funding to colleges that advertise badly abroad, and restrict funding to one or two colleges that work directly against the interests of UK taxpayers, UK students and UK manufacturing like London College of Fashion that ran a Creative Connexions project and published course material and case studies about fictional organisations related to Ethical Fashion Forum for the Department for International Development. I think that a record of publications that are untrue, and of hosting a Creative Connexions project  designed to reduce UK manufacturing, should be a big factor in whether the college gets further funding. I think London College of Fashion should not get further funding from UK taxpayers via the higher education funding council. I don't know if any can be clawed back.  

The Advertising Standards Authority

has already required six colleges to withdraw vague and misleading claims:  

The British Council

service to promote higher education can be changed to offer course advice rather than promoting colleges. I understand that the British Council is largely funded by the Foreign Office and it might get a Department for Business grant for this work. At the moment it offers an extra service to colleges that pay more. I think this should stop, because it encourages the promotion of colleges over courses and so promotes bad courses.

Home Office

visa application systems could have an online form with a few questions, to check that students know what syllabus they have applied to study, know the Unistats feedback and the relative housing costs, and have not seen too much vague language on the prospectus.
The form could ask prospective students to cut and paste the syllabus from Unistats or one of a list of sites that compile the data. The same idea could be taken much further and maybe staff at Unistats could advise how - for example a check that applicants know the common faults of each type of course according to impartial staff, who might say it doesn't lead to a job in the form applied-for and that some other combination is better, or graduates and drop-outs, who might say that it's boring or list things they wish they'd known when they applied. "London is expensive and anonymous". Things like that.

The Home Office could do this for all applications backed by colleges. The college would then have to tell the applicant how to fill-in the form, and avoid using vague words on their prospectus.

Foreign Office

"The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is once again the top destination for 2012/13 Chevening Scholars, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has reported"  - LSE web site

Cease Chevening Scholarships to
  • economics courses that don't mention the welfare state, or
  • courses with bad student feedback or
  • courses taught in the most crowded areas.
The current system is that people from other countries get student grants which are not available to UK taxpayers, to learn how to mis-manage the system which UK taxpayers pay for, take-up space in city centres while they are doing it, and then go home to other countries and run them just as badly.They are part of the critical mass which keeps these awful courses open.

What impact does the payment

of migrant student fees

to the educational provider have?

  • Migrant fees from outside the EU are about double per head, with double impact.

  • Migrants are worse at choosing courses, so the worst course makes the most money.

Any other group of students who are easily-led or mis-led have the same bad effect, but students who pay double fees have a multiplied bad effect. Everybody looses including the student, home students sitting alongside, anyone who would benefit from better educated students, or another educational provider looking for students and a chance to do a better course that's more interesting to study or teach. So even the people who teach Economics 101 at London School of Economics suffer a bad impact from migrant students, because they loose a chance to teach a more interesting course in a cheaper area.

Social Insurance & Allied Services

Take the welfare state as an example of something probably not taught on the worst course like London School of Economics' Economics degree, but more interesting to teach at another course to more interested students in a cheaper area. The standard LSE course takes two years to get to the point, during which you are taught how to be a computer. Then in year three you can take various courses which don't include how to fund the welfare state. You can take a course in Game Theory but not how to keep a hospital open. That topic is banished to minor courses with more obscure names - maybe Public Administration nor something like that, as though you would know at the age of 18 to apply for a course in public administration and economics, if it exists.

If a course began with problems that other people face, told students what theories were available, and let them choose the relevant ones, then a lot of time would be saved, leaving time to teach what students wanted to study.

I think this bad teaching influences our politicians. If you ask one how to fund the NHS, they don't know what to say. The Prime Minister was caught with the question and said "people are getting older", and I doubt many prime ministers could have answered better. A bit like a rocket scientist saying "it just goes pop and there's mess everywhere". Or a brain surgeon.

What are the fiscal impacts of migrant students, (including student loan arrangements)?

Crowding costs are the obvious urgent problem, but not mentioned in lobby data.

I think the fiscal cost of public services rises more per head as crowding increases, as a curve, so it is less per head in Lampeter and more per head in London. I think the data funded by lobby groups via Oxford Economics or London Economics is silent here, as you would expect. London Economics does do some work to try and price public services per head in different constituencies, but only has two zones for health spending, and has a theory that some categories of public spending are much higher in Wales for example, so I don't think their figures help and they don't state how the figures are worked-out.

Take housing.

Housing is more expensive to manage if it is scarce and expensive than if nobody cares about a months’ vacancy or qualification for a special needs waiting list. There used to be some hotels around Argyle Square and Gower Street that might take a guest on housing benefit and advertised in Loot. I expect the guest had to be convincing at some kind of interview and provide lots of ID, but they did it, making a lot of social housing provision unnecessary. Now that housing benefit is harder to get and housing costs in Camden are about the highest in the UK, I doubt you can still get a hotel room on housing benefit. Gower Street is also the main address for London University; prices round Gower Street and Camden and London are increased by London University's trade

Take transport.

I guess rail journeys cost more per ticket at capacity than at half capacity. Signaling, unsocial hours, and emergencies cost more at full capacity. Journeys cost more than the ticket price if one emergency stops a line from working for an hour, as they do in central London. As the limits to capacity are tested, it becomes clear that money cannot buy more tube tunnels, cubic meters of air to disperse exhaust fumes, linear meters of traffic lane or parking space, seats in existing transport, miles of commute that commutes are willing to endure. There are congestion charges in London but some streets are still too polluted by EU standards. So all services in central London have to beat the cost of harder deliveries and harder commutes. And transport is one of the more measurable factors, along with housing prices.

There are plenty of less measurable fiscal costs to the numbers of public sector staff needed, the stress to them, the cost of staff turnover or bad staff, and the fiscal cost of extra wages paid to make-up. The fact that shortage occupations include emergency medicine and old-age psychiatry suggest, in part, that not enough people are trained but they also suggest that not enough people want the job at any wage after a few years in post, quite likely because of strains related to overcrowding, lack of social care in overcrowded areas, high staff turnover among colleagues, and so-on.

Take lobby data about international students: a repeated point

Lobbyists fund data.
Universities UK finds reports from Oxford Economics; other lobbyists fund London Economics. Lobbyists want taxpayer funding or student fees, so they don’t pay for data about overcrowding and its fiscal costs, obviously. Not obvious to elected mayors of London or ministers, but obvious. Mayors and ministers have a puppy-like enthusiasm for trotting-out this stuff out in speeches after going on a visit and shaking someone's hand.

So as taxpayers, we read claims of benefits and have to un-pick them, un-paid, to state the costs to officials & politicians. If we send these opinions in, as I did to Sadiq Khan about a different way of funding London Fashion Week, we might get an acknowledgement from their secretaries, or might not, and then we see their next speech with the puppy-like enthusiasm for lobby data because I suppose they have met someone in person and shaken their hand and believed every word.

The Mayor of London uses taxes to fund some economists directly. Their office is called GLA Economics. I hoped they would have a report on crowding of housing and transport, and so the need to have less visitors to London as students or tourists or arts audience or lured-in tech employees or any other category.
This is an example report:
Their web site does mention rising population, pollution, an a graph of median earnings falling against housing costs over time. This looks like an argument for less crowding.

Next to these chapters are other pages about the need to bring more business and visitors into London: an argument for more crowding. This is the clash between evidence and policy that I do not understand, and seems so blatant that I do not know how to argue against it except by stating the obvious point about over-crowding under every heading. On a closer look, it seems that the mayor has come back from a lobby meeting, dropped-in to the GLA Economics office, and told economists to cross-out "crowding" or "full" and write "agglomeration". I have the odd quote below.

Fiscal cost of crowding:

(could be repeated under "how much money ... spending ... impact ... regional")

This is the most important point and could sit under several headings, including fiscal costs of governing an over-crowded expensive town like London with staff on Inner London Weighting, Congestion charges, long commutes, excessive staff turnover, extra services like traffic control and congestion charging, extra costs of running services over without spare capacity for housing or social care, and so-on. Some of this is a personal cost to the person who tries to work for Haringay Social Services or such; some of it is cost to the taxpayer, and some is cost to the people who try to use these creaky services run by temps from all over the place. I pick that example because it is described in the Victoria Climbie Enquiry's report.

The briefing paper notes a report on education healthcare and social services spending, which are not much used by people of student age.

I think it's obvious that the crowding ads to the cost of those services. They have to be run without enough beds, bedsits, flats, transport seats, meters of traffic lane, parking spaces, or cubic meters of air to disperse exhaust fumes. This makes each service, from social care to education to housing, more slow and stressful to manage. There is a congestion charge. There are 24 hour traffic monitors trying to keep traffic moving even so, and people working full-time on the cameras that catch people on certain yellow box junctions when the traffic jam strands them there. All these extra public services have fiscal costs, even if those costs are funded by traffic fines or tickets

Meanwhile, reports from lobby groups have nothing to say.
Oxford Economics mention no costs, if I remember right. I have linked to the part of their report that states working methods.

London Economics does mention some costs or "fiscal impacts". One of their reports costs public costs and benefits by parliamentary constituency, and if there is a vital part that I have missed it is in how they cost public services per head in Westminster or Coleraine or West Highlands. Their main report is more national.

Costs of Hosting International Students
⦁ Funding Council Teaching Grants
⦁ Costs of Student Support
⦁ The Other Public Costs of Hosting International Students
⦁ Total
⦁ Other Public Costs for Students and Dependents

This is the only lobby data I have seen which mentions higher costs in Gower Street, Camden, London, than in Coleraine or West Highlands. The calculation is rough, and opaque. It calculates that health costs £729 in some regions and £529 in others - there are only two bands. General public services are cheap in London, it estimates, at £84 compared to £159 in Wales. The calculation is kept private. So I don't think that lobby data helps any more than GLA Economics in making sense of the cost of crowding


Fiscal cost of scholarships to international students:

Most international students are over-charged by the colleges, but some are subsidised by the taxpayer through scholarships, I understand, even though the same taxpayer no longer gets a student grant themselves.
The Great China scholarship fund is worth a million pounds says and the Great India scholarship fund looks similar. There is an EU Erasmus program which I don't understand. The Chevening Fund is for students "personally selected" by British embassies "Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations", meaning that it is funded by removing money from the welfare state.
A million pounds pays for 1890 average peoples' health costs a year at the lower rate, according to London Economics prices, but Oxford Economics says that this is only a tiny percentage of the public service funded by taxes on international students' spending. For example they spend a lot on transport - London Economics has a pictogram. They have to spend a lot on transport because some of them have courses held in London's Oxford Street. I am getting confused.

If you are not a courtier but just live in the UK and pay taxes, I understand that you can only get a student loan for fees and maintenance, charged at 7%, repayable in installments if you ever earn an average income. The government pays interest at a much lower rate, but does not pass-on the saving and ministers have stated that the scheme makes no money; it makes a big mark-up but the system is expensive to run and a lot of people don't ever make an average wage with which to repay their student loan.

Fiscal cost of unraveling the statements

There is no government grant for un-ravelling the statements made by Oxford Economics or London Economics for public-funded organisations that want more taxpayers' money. I think that's a bit unfair because they use taxpayers' money to pay for the reports:

"The economic activity and employment sustained by international students’ subsistence spending generated £1 billion in tax revenues in 2014–15 – equivalent to the salaries of 31,700 nurses or 25,000 police officers"

London Economics did similar research for one sponsor and something called the "Higher Education Policy Institute", (registered charity number 1099645) named to confuse by the look of it. They ran a dinner event with the title "challenger institutions: useful competition or unhelpful disruption?" and invited a minister or MP along. So they are probably the same bunch as the other sponsor, Kaplan, which is a crammer that wants to be called a University and gets a fiscal subsidy for the PR by calling it a charity.

London Economics' account of jobs created does not mention jobs lost as a result of so many students studying bad courses in crowded places. London Economics' estimate might make sense at Coleraine in Northern Ireland, or the West Highlands, or in County Durham. Areas where there are empty bedsits, and if this isn't always true, then the less measurable claims of benefit make-up. Maybe students add variety and connections and bring skills, or maybe they make businesses viable that would otherwise not be viable, such as cheap clubs and venues that local people can also use. Unfortunately I think that most areas are more crowded than this.

The most crowded area is London if you measure by property prices.

Universities UK's report from Oxford Economics quotes this about London:
 £1327m      off-campus expenditure
 £2.714bn    export earnings.
 8,855       jobs created by spending (it doesn't say on or off campus)

There are no notes and queries attached, which is a worry.

A politician or a civil servant could simply take these figures as given. Just as a lot take the cliches as given - "world class", for example. Manchester University economics students have noted the lack of critical thinking allowed on one of the very courses that attracts a lot of international students and supplies graduates to the civil service or parliament.

I doubt any of these figures helps.

Off campus expenditure would be spent by other people in London who would be allowed-in if international students were not there. The people priced-out, who commute-in. They would also be less tired and more enterprising, maybe talking to children more or sleeping or doing a more fun job with lower prospects or earnings or hanging around clubs and bars and venues. People who do whatever common people do.

Fiscal benefit of VAT and other taxes on the supply chain for off-campus spending

This requires modelling that is not easy for most of us to challenge although I would welcome a chance if there's any need for specific feedback, or if anyone with more up-do-date skills wants to do it with me.
... is the report commissioned by a lobby group
... is the part that quotes their reporting methods
including student loan arrangements?
(I don't know any relevant evidence to send to the migration advisory committee.

There could be a chance for UK students to build their student loan into the state national insurance scheme, so that, if they have a high income throughout their lives, maybe they get a state pension years later than someone who has worked in mining from the age of 16 for example.
It is frustrating that UK government cannot afford student grants to people in the UK, but does grant them to people in China or India as part of a scholarship scheme, and does still grant research work to universities in large amounts)

Do migrant students help support employment in educational institutions?

Crowding can be mentioned under each heading,

...such as long commutes or high local housing costs.

How much money do migrant students spend in the national, regional and local economy and what is the impact of this?

Crowding can be mentioned under each heading.

Housing spending will crowd-out other potential users of the land, or the specific floor space if students rent privately.
Transport spending will raise the congestion charge, or crowd–out other users of public transport

How do migrant students affect the educational opportunities available to UK students?

To what extent does the demand from migrant students for UK education dictate the supply of that education provision and the impact of this on UK students?

I take these together, under Quantity, where I state that I'm confused, and Quality, where I state some examples that come-around again other other questions.


A couple of reports note international demand for courses otherwise harder to run.

So far as the quantity of teaching goes, I think the reports make sense, but they have not said why these courses lack a critical mass of home students - maybe because of faults in schools or bad choices made by prospective students, or lack of wealth among home students.

Quantity of numerate home applicants - overlapping with points about quality

If UK schools don't provide numerate applicants for courses, there is a work-around:
"Abandoning Economics because of an inadequate supply of numerate applicants ignores the availability of first-year modules to improve students’ mathematical skills, something which universities are expected to do much more now" - A Management School for Keele, 2009, Keele University and College Union, p38

Better still, there could also be ways of teaching a technical course with mathematics taught in context, as needed, to solve real problems, rather than taught for its own dry sake in the first two years of the course, including maths that doesn't get used.


The reports suggest that post-graduate study is strategically important. But. How could home students possibly afford it? Why aren't their first degrees sufficient to teach them to study by themselves without further help? What does it mean for their job prospects when applicants from wealthy backgrounds have two degrees and they only have one? Does a first degree get dumbed-down and un-critical in a college where so many students are postgraduates? Do the conventional wisdoms about how the world works get influenced by the wealthy. international backgrounds of so many students? How does an employer distinguish between a rich but useless person with two degrees and poor useful person with one degree? Who empties the bins while so many young fit people are on courses?

Lobby reports don't clarify, despite repeating their point often.

"Graduates entering employment predominantly move into management, banking and finance and the civil service.", according to University College London economics department, and I find that rather frightening when I think of the problems of economics teaching in the UK.

I simply quote some paragraphs, to show the arguments I mean, before moving-on to

A further benefit for UK HEIs from the presence of international students has been cited as their role in achieving critical mass for teaching on some courses, including some which may have declined in popularity with home students. In some STEM subjects especially, the proportion of international students may be relatively high in some institutions, and without the presence of those students the course would become unsustainable, thereby reducing the range of courses available to UK students at certain institutions. The make-up of some course groups reported by the alumni supported this view. Any such reductions of course availability could have potential long-term impact on the UK stock of strategic skills.
These issues also arise in relation to postgraduate research study.
- BIS (2013) The wider benefits of international higher education in the UK

The same point is made for Universities UK by Oxford Economics several times in different parts of their report
International student fee income accounted for 13% of sector income in 2013–14, and demand from international students can support the provision of certain strategically- important subjects in the UK (eg engineering, technology and computer science, particularly at postgraduate level where around half of all students are from outside the EU).
Universities UK (2014) International Students in Higher Education

Quality: I said this under "impact" but it could just a well go here,

  • Migrant fees are about double home fees if non-EU, so have double the impact.

  • Migrants are worse at choosing courses, so the worst course makes the most money.

Any other group of students who are easily-led or easily mis-led have the same bad effect. Everybody looses including the student, home students sitting alongside, anyone who would benefit from better educated students, or another educational provider looking for students.

Take one example. Economics students are often not trained in how to fund the welfare state. That syllabus is banished to an obscure degree subject called Public Administration. So, if you ask an MP about funding the NHS, they don't know what to say. The Prime Minister was caught with the question and said "people are getting older", and I doubt any of the last few prime ministers could have answered any better.

There is a table of data showing economics course feedback scores for the colleges with most international students, showing that most have the worst student feedback. (26/1/18 )

International students choose by college rather than by course

A student might decide to study economics, and then choose a college by things like a web site that says "world class", "foremost", "vibrant buzz", rather than checking what kind of syllabus the college teaches and how satisfied previous students were. Politicians seem to make the same mistake in allowing business deals with these colleges and quoting their lobbyists word for word.
One graduate, Pok Wong, is taking Anglia Ruskin University to court over its false claims of graduate employment prospects, and the Advertising Standards Authority has required six universities to change their prospectuses, according to 
The colleges and The British Council advertise by college rather than by course.  And international students say that they choose by college rather than by course. The Survey of Graduating International Students found that "recognition of UK qualifications, the university reputation and the language" were important. On the other hand, there was no question about the course itself, so a different survey might get a different result.

I guess that home student applicants choose by college rather than course as well, but are getting more sophisticated with help from Unistats and the spin-off private sector sites, and other students' own rueful feedback scores on courses like LSE Economics. In a way, students are getting a vote about how their courses are going to be run. Meanwhile, more and more institutions are getting degree-awarding powers. The parental role of institutions in trying to provide courses that applicants should apply-for is replaced by a market force to provide what the student does apply-for, and maybe regrets later. Like a very boring course in how to be an astronaut, which doesn't lead to an astronaut job at the end because it doesn't teach how to make a space ship. There are lots of courses like that. Fashion design for example.

Engineering or Computer Science courses

I wrote a blog post called "star courses" about the courses with the worst student feedback and the least related employment for graduates. One such was a group of Portsmouth University graduates in Petroleum Engineering, if I remember right, who did not have the resources to drill for oil once they had left the university at the age of 22 with no savings. I don't know of any survey which says why so many Portsmouth Petroleum graduates have poor job prospects, but guess there's a common theme in most of them that the scale of operation, and the technical tools, make it hard to apply the skills except by getting one of the rare jobs on an oil rig at the other end of the UK.

On the other hand, there are shortage occupations for the more technical product designers. So there is a problem to be un-picked about how some engineering courses are popular because they help get a job, some are unpopular in hindsight because they don't get a job, and what can be done.

If I could find the lobby quote, I think it would say that international students help "particularly at post graduate level"  and I have to ask: why can't they study at home without paying fees to a college? Maybe they loose more than most.

Some examples of courses which get a lot of international students and a lot of bad student feedback.

Leeds College of Health, circa 1996.

I was myself on a distance learning course, advertised as part of Leeds University but in fact run by Leeds College of Health, a mental health training organisation which was unable to provide any contact at all with tutors, and lost its last one, I think while I was on the course. I think it collapsed at that point. (A successor organisation exists for addiction studies and it, too, has closed to new students "following a review" - I find it un-nerving that Leeds University still allows its name to be used by some related organisation )

What I noticed was that most of the distance learning students were from Pakistan, and another large proportion were paid-for by a health trust in Yorkshire. I suspect that these two groups of students were less likely to complain, and less likely to know what to expect, than a self-funded student. I suspect that's why the course survived as long as it did and my chances of study were reduced instead of increased, because someone could have set-up a proper college and I could have found it if Leeds College of Health had never existed. And so the demand from those migrant students and employer-funded students reduced the supply of education to me, with a bad impact on how well I did my job and on my job prospects. Current unistats data would single-out the course and force closure a little sooner than in 2002.

Manchester University Economics degree, quoted in 2013
100% of marks awarded by multiple choice exam for both Principles modules in first year.
UK Micro and Macro have 90% awarded by multiple choice exams and the other 10% is an essay. However, this essay is only 1,000 words long and students get 100% for handing it in on time. This means that many students don’t widely research the topic or fully engage with the material.
Micro and Macro Principles are a delivery of neoclassical theory and students are expected to learn the theory by rote.
There is no mention of what school of thought is being taught or that there are any other schools of thought. It is presented as facts about the world which leads to the possibility of students believing that these ideas represent indisputable truths

The largest recruiter of overseas students - UCL - now claims to have improved its syllabus:
The news has not reached their page on the complete university guide for 2018 admission

If graduates are produced who don't look things up or think things through, and haven't quite got the right skills for self-employment, there must be an effect on the demand for graduates. One measure of this, I think, is the number of people who do post-graduate courses that I know very little about.

Example of bad quality offered to international students:
University of the Arts London College of Fashion Footwear degree

Last I heard, Clarks asks students to design some prototype uppers each year, but not the soles because those require engineering which the college doesn't teach. Meanwhile, one of the shortage occupations is "product development engineer; product design engineer" under an engineering heading.

Anecdotal examples that human rights and democracy are not much mentioned by
Lobbying of mayors such as Khan: " It's great that so many people want to come to London to study fashion". I disagree, but the effect of un-democratic lobbying is greater, I think, than the democratic pressure to make london a less crowded place to live,

What is the impact of migrant students on the demand for

⦁ housing provision

⦁ transport (particularly local transport)

⦁ health provision

Crowding is the main point here.

The Planning Act prevents building to meet demand; Britain is overcrowded in most places. British manufacturing shrank more than manufacturing in similar countries, I think, during a period of high exchange rates from 1979-2009. That left the jobs disproportionately in the areas where service industries are common, rather than in Belfast or Tyneside

So there is a lot of overcrowding in London, quite a lot in most areas, and just a few tiny bits like Coleraine or West Highlands where migrants are a help.

Extra crowding, I believe, can only add to fiscal costs, even without thinking of data.
If taxes have to pay for roads, for example, then they might as well pay for rails, and so there is a fiscal cost to peoples' long commutes to London. There is the fiscal cost of running transport very near to full capacity, with the extra traffic monitoring work that has to be done, and the cost to travelers of the congestion charge. There are fiscal costs of a less efficient workforce, more stressed and tired because of long commutes.
The fiscal costs of housing rise with over-crowding too I think. There is the fiscal cost of housing benefit has to rise with rent. Emergency housing schemes like council homeless persons units have to make extra use of hostels and B&Bs to house homeless people because more suitable space is not available, and increased rough-sleeping because people who are willing and able to use a room or a hostel space on housing benefit are not able to find one.

The fiscal costs of running public services have to be higher in a crowded area. The market price for a care assistant from an agency is likely to be higher in London. People on formal public sector pay scales are likely to be on London Weighting or Inner London Weighting.

Transport specifically: stating the obvious

GLA economics publishes an estimate of the numbers of people who commute between regions, mainly in-bound, mainly long-distance, mainly to London. It is a big estimate.

GLA also publishes numbers of London international students.

Both figures have the same number of noughts after them; they are the same order of magnitude. So if there were no international students in London next year, and no home students filled their places, there would be a lot less commuting.

Housing specifically: stating the obvious

a general point based on easily-available data from, which maps UK housing costs.

One bed flats in Camden range from £1,457 to £1,625 mid-market to £1,842 for more expensive Westminster and Kensington are slightly more expensive. Generally, the cluster of institutions that attract overseas students have their central buildings in Camden and central London.

The example I looked at - Footwear design at London College of Fashion - has a library and teaching space above British Home Stores in Oxford Street, and uses a former school at Golden Lane in Islington. One of their halls of residence - Cordwainers Court in Shoreditch.- sounds as though it is one of the fixed assets sponsored by past generations to help UK shoemakers study.

 "Standard rooms (shared bathroom) are £154 per week for 42-week tenancies, (£6,468 in total) and £150 per week for 50-week tenancies (£7,500). These rooms are approximately 12 m2"

I don't think economists need to add-up all the rent paid by students and declare it a good thing, arguing that it trickles-around the rest of the economy.

A general point about crowding-out by study as well as tourism and arts

I think that the opportunity cost of this space being used in such an overcrowded part of London is that other rental is crowded-out, just as tourist hotels crowd-out other people from London, or the Royal Opera crowds-out people from London with the bad effects of homelessness, high housing costs, long commutes, and a reduction in variety of London services which is hard to explain economically, but seems associated with high rents. I don't think this would matter if the students
⦁ enjoyed their courses,
⦁ got value for money by being stretched, stimulated, interested, career qualified etc
⦁ benefit the rest of us as much as anyone else who might end-up in central London.
The evidence I can see points the other way on each point.

The London College of Fashion charge for overseas students is £17,500 a year, which is a lot for a course that doesn't teach you to run a shoe factory, learned alongside UK students paying £9,000.

In contrast, there are two shortage occupations on the home office list - "2126 ... product development engineer, product design engineer" which are in demand as well as "2219.... prosthetist". These similar skills are clearly not much taught at London College of Fashion, or hard to practice after graduating with the skills taught, or they would not be shortage occupations.

What impacts have migrant students had on changes to tourism and numbers of visitors to the UK?

Crowding needs a mention under every heading.

There is no room on the Piccadilly Line for more tourists at rush hour.
Most areas of the UK are overcrowded and short of housing, and migrant students study in the most overcrowded areas with the least housing, so if they increase tourism, it might well be in the areas that have too much tourism like London.

Reports including The Value of Fashion by Oxford Economics list extra visitors to London prompted by London Fashion Week. Each extra visitor causes more crowding on the tube.

What role do migrant students play in extending UK soft power and influence abroad?

Long after the close of the call for evidence, I read how nasty and expensive the visa application process has been:

Combine that with the extortionate fees charged to non-EU students, and you are likely to disgruntle some of the applicants. The worst example is applicants who got a place at London Metropolitan University, took part of the course after paying high fees, and were then given 60 days' notice to leave and a "task force", whatever that is. I doubt any of these students crop-up in research about graduates' warm feelings towards the UK because they are not easily tracable via facebook links provided by an alumni office - one of the methods used to research the role migrant students play in extending UK soft power and influence abroad. Nor do any or the people who apply for a visa and don't get one, but think they are over-charged or badly treated. Or people who drop-out.

The question could be re-framed: how can UK government services be fairer and nicer to people abroad? How can our government not offend people for the wrong reasons?

Getting back to Department for Business research, I found the results unclear.

The Department for Business research asks about their interest in "british goods" and "british brands" interchangeably.

Goods made in Britain are good for the economy, helping money circulate and providing a wider range of UK jobs to job applicants who want a wider range of jobs.

British brands may not even be owned in Britain and are unlikely to be made in the UK.

The research found no great take-up of either goods or brands by graduates, but the interchangeable use of both words suggests the problem: international students are not keen on a society in which taxes are earned to pay for public services.

I think there is potential for greater benefits among the fifteen categories listed. If every migrant student had to understand the principal of national insurance and similar schemes, the faults of countries without such schemes, and the difficult of trading between the two kinds of country, then I think more of the worlds' countries would reduce poverty sooner and fewer would compete unfairly with the UK.

There are fifteen categories of soft power listed on one report, without much evidence available for success or failure in any of the fifteen categories, so to avoid rambling I say nothing more.

If migrant students take paid employment while they are studying, what types of work do they do?


What are the broader labour market impacts of students transferring from Tier 4 to Tier 2 [student visa to ex-student visa with rights to apply for skilled work related to the course] including

- on net migration and


- on shortage occupations?

Shortage Occupations:
need for research on why they are unpleasant jobs, and spending on solutions already known

I think each shortage occupation deserves research on why it is such an unpleasant job that not enough people want to do it for long enough, or to train to do it, even when the pay is high and job agencies have the vacancy ready to fill. Not quite an answer to this consultation, but a point worth making. In some cases, like emergency medicine, I think the answer is well-known. A lack of social care, mental health services, and hospital capacity make the job frustrating and stressful. The answer is clearly to spend less on another shortage occupation - classical dancers and choreographers - and more on social care or mental health services.

There is clearly a need for NHS managers to know more about why nursing is an unpleasant job, I am told by a nurse. She says the clinical nurse specialist job is turned into a production-line job with one diagnosis and one small role and no chance to use experience and training. I don't know what more junior nurses on shift work in wards think, but it is worth asking.

I used to do social work social work jobs and found them, the line managers, and the offices a little bit like the ones described in the Victoria Climbie Enquiry.
It strikes me that if there is some way for a course to test whether a social worker is intelligent and honest, that should be the only sort of course to justify a student visa.

I think social work is an unusual job in that the people who most think they can do it are the least good at it. So the current system by which rather desperate marginal universities will give anyone  a chance is not a good system; it gives a false confidence and career advantage to the least able. A bit like the masters degrees in public administration done by more senior social workers who want to run departments.

I knew a social worker on a postgraduate course at Kingston Uni who was shocked by the other people on the course, and thought that they were just interested in the job for the power. Maybe they were the same people who cropped-up a year or two later at the Victoria Climbie Enquiry, with their effect of making the job unattractive to saner applicants.

Suppose there is a country where it is more often hard to judge whether student visa applicants could become social workers with these qualities...
  • polite in UK terms, not giving direct instructions to the client
  • respect the idea of an insurance like service pre-paid by the client through taxes,
  • help where possible instead of just assessing, for example in looking up benefits rules or fitting a stair rail

    and are

  • intelligent,
  • honest,
  • able to look things up with a history of doing it, able to do it at an interview
  • able to think-through messy problems and simplify what if anything can be done.
I wrote "suppose", but if there is a country where student visa applicants are harder to judge, where a college might get an applicant who is just plain barmy, then visas should not be allocated in that country, even if some applicants are perfectly good. Until someone can devise some extra special tests to allow the sensible ones to get a visa.

Ideally, social work employers would know how to select job candidates. That wasn't the case at Harringay Social Services when they hired Carole Baptiste. If the Migration Advisory Committee can find out where Carole Baptiste or other employees of Haringay Social Services got their qualifications, I think that would be a good piece of work and help to prevent bad social work courses from running in future - I write with sympathy for the social worker at the bottom of the management hierachy, on whom everything was first blamed, who got no commitment from any of her bosses to give opinions or help or even run an office or write a sensible job contract.

Whether, and to what extent, migrant students enter the labour market, when they graduate and what types of post-study work do they do?


In addition, the MAC would like to receive evidence about what stakeholders think would happen in the event of there no longer being a demand from migrant students for a UK education.

The economy...

Other exports would have to increase

The effect would be the same as an end to any other export, such as oil or financial services.

The pound would fall until some some other export - something else - became more competitive and made-up, which would quite likely be goods rather than services because easily traded. Import substitution would work the same way. For example, I have just bought a cheap car tyre which was probably from Asia. If the pound falls a lot lower, I might be offered a UK-made re-tread next time.

Government can make exports easier

There is no list of “something else”; there is no directory of UK manufacturers taken from income tax & VAT data. Manufactures are at a disadvantage compared to educators, who's degree courses are all neatly arranged online. Such lists can't be compiled for manufacturers from tax data, because the Revenue and Customs Act restricts use of tax data for other purposes. Government can make exports easier by changing the law and helping directories of UK manufacturers get the most complete possible data. At the moment it's easier to log-on to Alibaba and find a footwear company in China than it is to find one in the UK, which will probably be very lean, keep a low profile, and stick to some niche market.

I think an advantage to manufacturing exports over service exports is that they tend to export from regions that have lower property prices, shorter commutes, no congestion zones, and less crowded public transport. Whether people enjoy manufacturing jobs is another question - it depends on the person and the job - but other advantages are clear.
  • The effect on the local economy of any crowded part of the UK, such as London, would be to reduce crowding.
  • And the effect on remaining students would be increased integration

The effect on students:
UK students might integrate with each other more

English schools are not designed to integrate different types of English pupil. An increasing number are faith schools. A proportion are private, and a higher proportion of university students are privately educated. The private schools have a contingent of pupils from overseas. Anecdotally, the schools that retain a little capacity for boarding find it filled mainly with pupils from Asia. My old boarding school, Wellington College, now has a branch in China. So an ex boarder from Wellington like myself at the age of 18 would know more about wealthier Chinese people than people in the council school down the road. I expect that there is some self-censorship among people at Wellington about human rights abuses in China, the lack of democracy there, and the difficulty of a country with no welfare state trying to trade with a country that has one. That last point might not even be stated, and if I went from Wellington to a college like University of the Arts with its big Chinese student population, the pattern would be repeated. If I went on to become Chancellor of the Exchequer I might sign trade deals and encourage ownership of nuclear power stations and airports that don't seem to be in the interest of the UK.

When I was 19, the differences between people at college were to do with class, region, skills, and different kinds of shared general knowledge. People had done quite well at ignoring religion in order to make it go away. Now, there is increasing segregation on religious grounds that also happen to be racial but also show in the wearing of veils, the avoidance of alcohol, and I suspect sexism, homophobia and mis-treatment of animals. there's also a resurgence in Catholic faith schools. I hope that students at UK universities find-out more about segregated groups just as previous generations found out about people from different classes, and I guess this is more likely if there are more people from the UK in each university.

Future MPs might learn a little more about people in the UK

I am constantly surprised by the way MPs seem to know very little about the country where they stand for parliament, assuming that local people are mainly interested in the issues around them (Susan Kramer MP at a public meeting), or that they prefer points to be expressed as emotions rather than arguments (David Lammy MP on Genfell), or that ordinary people cannot understand economic arguments. As a result, populists are left to make the popular arguments. If UK school children and students were better integrated, I think that would help the ones who become MPs be better MPs.

An example is TTIP free trade agreement that Hilary Clinton was in favour of, as was Cameron, without thinking it worth debating or important. The presumption was that ordinary people don't need to be told what graduates and post-graduates have worked-out for them. A big indicator of voting for Trump was being a non-graduate. A big election issue was that he's interested in industry, and spots any unfairness of trade with China.

An example is Brexit. A big indicator of voting Brexit was being a non-graduate. Graduate MPs seemed to have trouble catching-up with the issues of migration between very different countries, and of the cost of belonging to the EU organisation. So populists made the arguments instead.

An example is Ethical Fashion Forum, Creative Connexions, Making it Ethically in China, and the cluster of related activity. The cluster was funded in secret, with Ethical Fashion Forum miraculously getting a chance to exhibit at The Crafts Council and the V&A with help from the British Council as well as getting funded by Business Link to give lectures on how to run a business. Officials met in ministries and worked-out with Futerra Communications how to set-up something that looked like "social proof", as Futerra put it, rather than a project by Hilary Benn MP at the Department for International Development and then Defra. The presumption, again, is that non-graduates wouldn't understand the need to close UK manufacturing.

(Something similar is likely to happen again: Nike have a "nothing like a Londoner" ad campaign, which suggests that their sponsored department at London College of Fashion has cooked something up with the Greater London Authority.)

I think that if future MPs mixed more with other UK students at university, they might be less surprised and surprising.

Effect on London and crowded areas: increased diversity

"International students bring many benefits to the UK, which have been well articulated in recent years: they bring diversity to campus life and enhance the student experience for ‘home’ students" - Oxford Economics for Universities UK (2014) International Students and Higher Education

I don't know where to find evidence for increased uniformity in expensive, gentrified areas like London. A reduction in music clubs, gay bars, odd ethnic restaurants, and independent businesses. A reduction in things that people can only do if they pay low rent. A tendency of councils and development agencies to try and gentrify deliberately in underhand ways. I think the evidence for this is often anecdotal; I don't know where to look for something quantitative.

If a lot of London colleges closed, I am sure that would slow the increase in London living costs and I hope that would be good for diversity.

impact of migrant students depending on the institution and/or subject being studied –

do different subjects and different institutions generate different impacts?

Suppose there were no more non-EU international students next year.

I think that would be a relief in overcrowded cities like London, but a worry to institutions with most non-EU students like the LSE, London College of Fashion, and their lobbyists.

There would be an immediate drop in income from non-EU students' higher fees, forcing a reduction in back-office and facilities spending on things like lobbying politicians, applying for research grants less likely to be received, paying lawyers to fend-off complainants, vice chancellors' salaries, as well as more obvious facilities. The institutions claiming to be most impoverished would find a lot of money for lobbying: meetings, marches, letters to The Times, speeches in Parliament, but real people wouldn't notice any difference. Colleges that take a lot of home students have, a lot of them, already shrunk a lot since trying to charge £9,000+ fees, so the process is nothing new.

There would be immediate cuts in provision of courses which are not much applied-for by UK students, like business studies in central London, and most of the courses would not be missed. Other courses would have to compete for less qualified and more picky home students, for example by responding to student feedback to get better Unistats results. Only 37% of LSE economics students think the college takes any notice of student feedback at the moment. London College of  Fashion doesn't offer any workshop space to use by the hour or cheap practical training for selling shoes.

I think that courses in expensive areas which get bad student feedback would close more than ones in cheaper areas with good student feedback, so the likes of Coventry University would continue to grow while LSE might shrink. Home students wanting to study in central London would have more choice because of lower entry requirements. At the moment, you have to study rather intensely as a teenager to get the A-level results for a place at LSE, and it would be good if that changed.

Benefits to Londoners of less competition for central government grants

A report on the London Development Agency began by saying how many billions of pounds it had spent over several years, but that worklessness remained a problem in London. The same can be said of education funding. The cuckoo organisations claim large amounts of money from one arm of government or another - such as the Higher Education Funding Council - but there is no adult education course to help londoners sell their stuff on a Wordpress site with options to try Magento Prestashop or Drupal. There is huge expenditure by the Greater London Authority and the Department for Business on London Fashion Week, but few courses for Londoners who want to learn how to set-up a clothes factory or a shoe factory, and, if they did, some of the factory space was knocked down for the Olympics. It would be good if a new generation of fashion and footwear colleges worked by supplying factory space and training any users who wanted to be trained.

If the large lobbying cuckoo-like organisations had less money to bid for more grants and to lobby, I think there might be more money for other things. 

Some examples could be headed
"closing this course would increase happiness all-round and raise more tax at the same time".

This expands on examples made above under other questions, headed "quality"
How do migrant students affect the educational opportunities available to UK students?
To what extent does the demand from migrant students for UK education dictate the supply of that education provision and the impact of this on UK students?
I answered with example paragraphs about Leeds College of Health trading as Leeds University, Manchester University Economics Degree, and London College of Fashion, which comes-up under several headings.

Fiscal cost of damage done by badly educated scholars: a strange example

One graduate obtained funding from the Department for International Development, that also co-operated very closely with London College of Fashion so that it was difficult to see where her project, called Ethical Fashion Forum, began and where London College of Fashion ended.

The graduate claimed to be a dress importer with a business called "Juste", and author of a book called "Can Fashion be Fair?", as well as an award winning architect. On a closer look, it turns-out that "Juste" was a college project that never traded, run as evidence to be awarded a taught masters degree in international development by Oxford Brooks University, close to Oxfam's offices, often studied by ex-Oxfam volunteers. I don't know why Brooks Uni awarded a masters degree for a fake dress import business, to someone without a first degree in architecture or anything else, but imagine it was to please a funder; I imagine that international development students are funded by something like Chevening scholarships. So the idea of British "soft power" meant a particular sort of British interest represented by a stooge.

Certainly the student who went-on to found Ethical Fashion Forum as a kind of front for UK government interests, as did EU-funded online course materials by London College of Fashion, which quoted her as a "case study", alongside Pants to Poverty, who shared a public-subsidised office at Rich Mix on Shoreditch.

I said you don't have to think critically to get the grant. If you don't believe me, I'll send you some qutoes from the masters degree thesis at Oxford Brooks. She claims that people in the UK made their own clothes until international trade allowed them to enjoy fashion. She mixes-up the East India Company with the British Empire, but not with Nike. She backs-up her opinion with a quote that looks fake, on a web site that looks as though it never existed, from an academic who generally states different views. One thing that's clear in her opinions is that she is opposed to UK garment production and she repeats the point on her Ethical Fashion Forum site, using a series of rhetorical tricks.

This particular student has cost millions of pounds in lost revenue from the companies that she has helped close in the UK, by diverting attention from UK manufacturers.

For example, while Pants to Poverty, who shared her office, promoted themselves as "ethical", Manchester Hosiery that made T shirts and underwear in the UK went bust, was bought out of receivership, and went bust again due to lack of interest from customers. It made T shirts and underwear on high-tec machines that wove them to shape from yarn and could produce more cheaply than T shirts with more sewn seams in them.

The same Ethical Fashion Forum team promoted a seminar of about 50 clothes buyers headed "buying from co-operatives". They didn't mention UK co-operatives.Within a month or two, Equity Shoes of Leicester had gone bust and was closed by the receiver because of lack of interest in UK-made shoes. Equity Shoes was a 100 year-old worker co-operative in a high unemployment area.

And then there was the seminar "Making it Ethically in China", funded by the taxpayer through the higher education funding council, that promoted Chinese production with speakers including a fur-dress importer, a Nike consultant and Terra Plana. It was held within a mile of JJ Blackledge, a cheap British PVC wallet manufacturer, that went bust the same week. Just a few orders might have encouraged them to keep going.

I do not know how to estimate loss to the UK economy caused by this covert operation of Dfid, British Council, and scholarships for students who agree with them. I understand that when companies call in receivers, there is usually a statement of reasons why the company failed. A study of these reports, and interviews with former directors, might show that a little encouragement, by universities and government, of firms that pay UK taxes and reasons to buy from them, would go a long way in keeping more of them open and make a positive difference to tax revenue while reducing the costs of benefits and services to stressed people or deprived people.

To save you clicking on the link, I add the email which I got inviting me, as someone in the footwear trade, to the event.

Own-it Event:
Making it ethically in China -
A practical guide for fashion and textile designers

Sourcing materials or manufacturing in China should be considered seriously if you want to compete in a global market and keep production cost low. Many do not think that China should be your first port of call if you have decided to build your brand on a sustainable business model in which worker's rights are recognised, the materials used are environmentally friendly and your carbon footprint is as small as possible. However, China has started to acknowledge the need for sustainable business practices in the production of textiles and clothing, and has set up the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium in Hong Kong in 2008 to promote just that.
Own-it, Ethical Fashion Forum and Creative Connexions have invited a panel of experts to discuss the current situation in China, how designers can source manufacturers and material that meets their ethical standards and how they can monitor compliance. A lawyer will speak about important clauses in manufacturing or licensing contracts concerning IP rights and confidentiality, as well as what to do when you are faced with counterfeits that are cheap, unethically sourced and damage your good name.
 Date: 28.10.09 Time: 6-8pm followed by drinks and networking until 9pm
 Location: Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
Cost: Free (paid for by taxpayers and paid for again by loss of tax after UK factories close as a result of this)

Fiscal cost of colleges which actively damage the UK economy, sustained by fees from international students and UK Higher Education Funding Council grants.

The international student industry has a cuckoo-like ability to claim grants from UK taxpayers which I think should mainly be meant for the UK population.

My example is London College of Fashion, working with School of Oriental and African Studies, and Kings College, both parts of University of London. It adds a couple of its own off-shoots to the list as well: Centre for Fashion Enterprise and London Business School. It is hard to know the boundaries of this cluster of institutions.

It won a bid for 80% of the Higher Education Innovation Fund promoted help by universities to business until 2005, when it was used for a different purpose, which was to put UK-based designers or anyone from the UK in touch with Chinese manufacturers.

 "The Creative Connexions project (originally called "Creative Capital-World City") received £5 million of funding from HEFCE via the third round of the Higher Education Innovation Fund bidding process ("HEIF 3"). This funding was allocated to the University of Arts in London which was the lead higher education in the project bid. This represented just under 80% of the total project budget which was £6.275 million. "

I think the covert use of this tax money is so opposite to the overt, and so opposite to the interests of UK taxpayers, that I think something special should be done.

⦁ The institutions should not be awarded any specialised grants for higher education for the life of this government and a suggested fifteen years total; they should receive only the standard higher education funding per head that any other college gets.
⦁ The names of officials & ministers who signed for the payments should be published, and similar funding bids and grants likewise.
⦁ The process should be published, step-by-step, date-by-date, that led to the grant.

Another example is the cost of promoting UK colleges overseas by civil servants at the Department for Business and the British Council, which I don't think benefits UK students or taxpayers. When these colleges are in over-crowded parts of the UK, I think the spending is directly opposite to the interests of UK taxpayers. It is as bad as spending on the Olympics, and it is more like corruption than proper government spending.
A third example is a pretend fashion industry, centered on London Fashion Week and a couple of feed-in fashion shows, which is good at getting column inches but not so good at promoting UK manufacturers. It is as much to do with manufacturing and UK jobs as a Eurovision song is to do with music you would want to hear or play. I believe that London Fashion Week exists in competition with UK manufacturers, particularly for column inches of media coverage.

Footwear, London College of Fashion, part of University of the Arts

I was a stake-holder in the UK footwear industry, selling dozens of pairs every day or two with a commitment to promote UK manufacturing. Unfortunately, bad health got in the way. I suffered very slight encephelopathy or bad concentration after an accident. You can probably tell by my rambling style of writing. But I keep the old web site running and keep in touch with events. I blog as and on as well as on my own website,

When I became ill, I looked on the net for business support of adult education that might help me. For example my short term memory got too bad for me to learn how to set-up an online shopping cart to sell shoes. I could probably do it with subsidised help, or as part of a class where other people did it together, but no such class exists. I expected to see classes run by London colleges with titles like
  • "automate your book-keeping without an accountant", or
  • "manufacturing course suits this workshop space available by the hour"
  • "sell with Prestashop, Magento,Wordpress, or Drupal".
  • "product photography for ebay and small ecommerce businesses",

  • "make shoes or clothes without workshop space"

  • "how to make trials and top-ups of clothing and get a factory to do larger orders"

  • "try your clothes in a market for four weeks and see if they sell: share a stall"  

I don't care who teaches the course if they're competent and I can afford them. but London College of Fashion trains a lot of footwear and fashion graduates, and they need these services just like anyone else. London College of Fashion runs some footwear courses, but no knowledge transfer partnership system works to help small businesses in London. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership person at London College of Fashion has no background in fashion or footwear, and uses the job to promote a course. I did find a cluster of taxpayer-funded activity centred around London Fashion Week, London College of Fashion, and Ethical Fashion Forum. A cluster of overlapping organisations and groups of people claiming various government grants in order to promote Chinese or Bangladeshi or Kenyan goods at the expense of goods made in the UK. I found that a significant grant from Greater London Authority went to London Fashion Week, which is a PR organisation that fashion colleges try to infiltrate for their graduates but has as much to do with making clothes as Eurovision has to do with making music. I believe that if London College of Fashion closed, the world would be a happier place. Something else would supply the informed demand for good courses - probably the universities of Leicester and Northampton for footwear degrees. Kingston has a better-reviewed course for design. I believe that the network of grant-claimants, claiming European Social Fund grants or working with the Department for International Development or the British Council or the Cabinet Office or the Higher Education Funding Council or the Greater London Authority would stop applying. That would leave the grants now paid towards London Fashion Week, for example, to cease. Maybe a replacement would spring-up in the midlands, representing the works of UK factories rather than graduates of fashion colleges and a few other applicants who do not state where their products are made. Either way, there would more more column-inches and air-time for people who make things in the UK and argue the case for goods made in a democratic welfare state. I think this would be great for the economy and particularly for non-graduates who want to do manufacturing jobs. I believe that the covert operations of this lobby would be discouraged, or at least have to be privately funded. Operations like the online course materials from London College of Fashion with their completely false "case studies" of businesses which had never existed, like Juste, a fictional dress import business run by someone who became a front for another bogus organisation, Ethical Fashion Forum (the industry voice for ethical fashion) which had little to do with fashion businesses, ethical or not, and promoted free trade with Bangladesh.

Example of Manchester University Economics Degree.

I think this course would probably close, as it should, and UK students would find other universities willing to provide better courses. I quote a student report on year one, as taught about 2013, on this page, to illustrate that it puts theory first and doesn't mention public administration.

Example of Cardiff University Economics Degree

This is what their professor wrote about free trade deals with countries that have no welfare state and so lower costs: "Over time... it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech. But this shouldn’t scare us." I would like - unistats marks it down I would like to repeat the quote back to him, but with "bad economics courses" instead of "manufacturing". Here are some stats about the Cardiff economics degree. 3,285 international undergraduates (7,110 including international post-graduates) 73/83 on the Complete Uni Guide league table for student feedback, with students 46%   stimulated by the syllabus, 69%      interested by teaching 52%      applied what they had learned. Other universities have shrunk considerably in the past few years, so a good course in a shrunken university will have plenty of space in lecture theatres and halls of residence and teaching rooms. I think that they have more chance of changing, if it brings-in students. They have a history of running more unusual subjects. There are also universities taking-over at the top of league tables for student feedback for economics - Coventry, East Anglia and DeMontfort - which could expand. The important point is that students need to know more about the course and think less about the institution as they apply, so that students who would have gone to Manchester don't go to another bad course instead. I think better economics courses would produce better voters, civil servants, politicians, and people in business. For example, past economics courses have not prepared us for the funding of the NHS over the next decades as the population gets older. The systems have not been set-up. I think this is because of bad economics teaching in the past, in colleges full of ex-pats and ex-private school pupils, staffed by people who use a US style syllabus with its silence about public administration., presenting data from a spreadsheet called Table 3 here

University of the Arts with its London College of Fashion courses

is a big recruiter of international students. I have a run-down footwear business in London and keep track of what they do. They teach a footwear degree. They also have a long-running problem with their associates promoting a different sort of footwear or fashion to the sort that I have produced in the UK. My sales points are that the footwear contains no animal products and is made in a democratic welfare state with a good human rights record. Their sales points - if I take Terra Plana for example - are that the brand's intellectual property was borne in the UK, wherever it is held now. I think the brand is defunct after a web site quote saying that "China is arguably more democratic than the UK", and stating that footwear production is only possible nowadays in China. I sauntered into their shop once, and asked, after a while, why the brand was promoted as "ethical". The assistant said I should look at the web site. But this is a brand promoted by UK taxpayers at the expense of companies that have had to close like Manchester Hosiery, Equity Shoes, Remploy Uniforms and others. Similar companies put great emphasis on whether their shoes can be put in a compost bin and promote this as the only ethical test available. I don't know if Terra Plana shoes can go in a compost bin. I say "they" because I have no detail about who in what ministry asked for Terra Plana goods to be displayed at the V&A, the Crafts Council, and British Council exhibitions, or why David Cameron wore a pair; I am up against something organised, but I don't often know who organises it and how much the organisation overlaps with London College of Fashion. They are my rivals in a way, trying to persuade the public to buy fast-changing designs made in China. Some international students come from countries which offer free or cheap education to people from the UK. I know so little about this subject, that it is best to pretend nothing. Obviously, the deal that a UK student gets when studying in another country is relevant to the deal a student from that country should get when studying in the UK, and if that country offers free education to people like me, I think my taxes should offer students from there similar deal, or at least a cuddly toy or a "thank you" note, if they come over and pay high fees for a bad course in an expensive town, even if they do increase over-crowding,

Agglomoration. Words like "crowd" or "full", "expensive", "long commute" are replaced by "agglomoration" by the Mayor of London, after speaking to lobby groups and GLA econonomics.

There is clearly some kind of hotline between London College of Fashion and various mayors of London of different political parties, including this most recent one Sadiq Khan. I keep coming back to this lobbyist hotline, but there seems to be a whole switchboard of them. "The Mayor’s Brexit Advisory Group provides regular high-quality advice on the priorities for different sectors and organisations. In July this year, the Mayor hosted a summit of London business and university representatives, public service providers and migration experts to discuss what a future approach to migration should deliver". I think maybe he should ask someone on the bus instead of asking lobby groups. The next paragraph sounds like Alan Partridge as well. London’s higher education institutions are world-leading and a huge benefit not just to the London economy. They are a ready supply of top talent, and responsible for innovations that benefit business, science, health, and living standards in the widest sense. However, the inclusion of international students in the annual migration target has been a costly mistake - it has affected the reputation of our higher education sector and the UK as a welcoming place. This comes at a time of increased global competition for international students, talented academics and researchers. It is clear that the Government should reverse this mistake as a matter of urgency. There is a sentence about how wonderful the worst-reviewed UK courses are - apparently they are among the best in the world. And then finally there is a statement about the word "full"; how can more people make a full place better? One answer is to cross-out "full" and write "agglomeration". The capital’s success is based on its openness – to people, trade and ideas. London has responded to globalisation and made use of its competitive advantage in a number of specialisms. It is the world’s leading city for business and culture and is a major asset for the whole of the UK. London’s agglomeration enables innovation, market opportunities and business growth at a rate that many cities cannot match. However, London’s international competitiveness cannot be taken for granted.  [...] The UK’s future approach to migration will be a key determinant in whether London remains at the top, or loses investment to New York, Singapore and Paris. So "agglomeration" is that thing that you see on the Picadilly Line at rush-hour: loads of happy talented people encouraging each other to do more together than they could do apart, more than the people they crowd-out, and more than if they were not in a crowd. I haven't seen it myself.

Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith answered questions from Vogue for the mayorial elections. I had sent a statement to Khan about London Fashion Week as he started his campaign, but he didn't reply.

Vogue Q5. London is home to some of the best fashion schools in the world, many of which are oversubscribed - what will you do to address this? SK: It's great that so many people want to come to London to study fashion. We are blessed with some of the world's most famous institutions like the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. I always love visiting the University of the Arts. But being popular brings with it its own challenges - and to cope with that, we need to support our fashion schools to expand. The mayor can help with this - from sourcing land, to supporting them through the planning process and making sure that in large developments we find space for new state-of-the-art premises. The fashion industry will have a friend and ally in me at City Hall. ZG: In the next few years, the mayor of London will get control of further-education funding in London. I want to channel funding into London's growth industries, and fashion is definitely high up the list. Kingston College, in my current patch as an MP, is one of the most successful fashion schools in the world. I want to export that across London. Vogue Q9. London Fashion Week, London Fashion Weekend, and London Collections: Mens are major attractions throughout the year - do you plan on working with the BFC on these events and if so, how? SK: Absolutely! I really enjoyed David Koma's show at London Fashion Week this year. I know what an important part of London's calendar it is. It's really broken through in the last decade and our designers have been recognised internationally, from big brands like Burberry, Paul Smith and Alexander McQueen, to smaller ones like Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou. I will work hand-in-hand with the British Fashion Council to make London Fashion Week even bigger and better. I'll also use the role of mayor to sell London abroad, travelling to new and expanding markets to promote the city's crown jewels including the fashion industry. ZG: Absolutely - these are flagship events for London, a chance to show off our city and its brilliant designers to the rest of the world. As mayor, I will protect the financial contribution that City Hall makes to these events, and I will be enthusiastically promoting them - in government and across the globe. This response to the Migration Advisory Committee is from John Robertson 2 Avenue Gardens London SW14 8BP 0208 286 9947 shop  [at] veganline com ( archives the page with table of economics courses ; archives this page at about the time of the 26th January call for evidence and they got a word-processor version of this page by the deadline)

Footnote about how London College of Fashion works closely with government "The case studies are based on the information provided by the companies and have not been verified of investigated"
"The case studies are based on the information provided by the companies and have not been verified of investigated" That's an odd thing to read in a college textbook. Like "we made this up to get a grant",  and it was written by a consultant on UK taxpayer funding. She mentions it on her CV and blog The screenshot is one of London College of Fashion's publications listing fictional "case studies" of fashion companies, to be promoted by government departments at the expense of real UK fashion manufacturers in getting PR, recognition as ethical brands, or orders. A typical list would be Ethical Fashion Forum, Sari Dress Project, Juste, and Pants to Poverty, dropping Terra Plana, from the list after bad publicity about their Hong Kong supplier. This particular publication mentions Juste and Ethical Fashion Forum. I don't know if the Bangladeshi firms are fictional. The example of Juste is another college project that never traded, done by someone from Zimbabwe studying at Oxford Brooks, and probably on a Chevening Scholarship. The example of Sari Dress Project seems to be another college project, possibly sponsored by the Sri Lanka government at the time. A graphic design student got her name on the web site as author, but officially it is by staff of London College of Fashion. Pants to Poverty was real, but only in the sense that the Ethiopian girl band sponsored by Dfid is real; it never made pants or profit and it helped put UK manufacturers out of business. Development Partnerships in Higher Education must have been real because it cost taxpayer £15 million. The example is about ten years old but the pattern continues, with plans for the college to help develop parts of East London appearing in the Mayor's proposed budget for the next few years.