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UK migration rate falls by a quarter as student and foreign worker numbers reduce

London, Fri, 30 Nov 2012 ANI

London, Nov. 30 (ANI): Britain's net migration has fallen by a quarter in the last year, due to a fall in the number of foreign students and workers coming to the country.

In the biggest drop in four years, net migration, the difference between the numbers of people arriving and leaving, fell to 183,000 from 242,000 the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

According to the Telegraph, the number of foreign students coming to the UK was down by eight percent, the number of foreign workers was down by nine percent and the overall number of migrants coming from outside the EU fell seven percent.

The fall comes after the Coalition has taken a series of measures to fulfill its pledge to cut net migration to thousands by 2015.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said that the figures showed the government's tough polices were taking effect and ministers were "bringing immigration back under control".

"This marks a significant step towards bringing net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament," he said.

Sarah Mulley, associate director at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank, however, warned that the fall in the number of foreign students would come at a "significant economic cost".

According to the report, some 296,000 migrants from outside the EU came to the UK last year, down from 317,000 the previous year, the figures showed.

After India, China became the second most common country for all immigrants, fuelled by 40,000 foreign students coming to the UK last year compared with 25,000 the previous year.

However, the number of foreign students coming to the UK from Pakistan rose, up from 20,000 to 30,000 students who came to the country.

But significant drops in migrants coming to the UK were particularly seen from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where the overall number of foreign students fell from 232,000 to 213,000, the report added. (ANI)

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