George Osborne’s hints this week as to a new approach to international students are a welcome change from this government’s usual combative stance, as led by home secretary Theresa May.
To all appearences, figures within the machinery of government have passed on the seemingly obvious message that increased diversity in our universities is a positive step forward, and that those students can contribute greatly to our universities and to the country as a whole – not only academically, but financially, and culturally, too.
However, not all burden can fall upon the government to create the right environment for outreach to international students. The University must continue to work to attract the best minds regardless of backgrounds and means, not only in the UK but across the world. In practice, this will mean continuing to invest in bursaries, scholarships, and grants, and – crucially – an apology for the unintelligent and offensive use of David Starkey in their recent campaign video. A genuniely inclusive higher educational environment is, as of yet, an unreached dream.