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BSI response to CaSE immigration report

Immigration is likely to be a hot topic over the next year for both the country and the science sector in particular. The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) have launched a new report on the importance of immigration to UK research.  The report makes 12 positive recommendations for actions that the Government could take to demonstrate its commitment to strengthening the UK’s position as a leading global hub of science and engineering. 

In other news, the Migration Advisory Committee (who advises Government on immigration policy) has also produced its review of balancing migrant selectivity, investment in skills and impacts on UK productivity and competitiveness for Tier 2.

In response to these two announcements, the BSI has issued the following statement:   

Professor Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology, said: 

“Immunology has witnessed enormous levels of innovation over the past few years and this progress has depended greatly on international collaboration and exchange of personnel between labs.  For the UK to maintain its position as a global leader in this sector, we need the ability to attract and retain talented, innovative researchers with appropriate skill sets to work here. 

The publication of today’s report by the Campaign for Science and Engineering highlights the importance of an immigration policy that welcomes highly-skilled people from overseas in allowing the UK science sector to flourish. It’s therefore disappointing that the recent report from the Migration Advisory Committee recommends increasing the salary threshold for Tier 2 visas beyond what some researchers can expect to earn. This poses worrying question marks over our ability to attract and retain the personnel we need to maintain the level of innovation within the UK.  

Science is a global pursuit – by welcoming international researchers to our laboratories, we not only support innovation and scientific discovery but also promote the future economic success of the UK science sector.”