Tighter regulations for international students could cost the UK billions of pounds, with “dire consequences” for British universities, a report has found.
It has been warned that proposed changes to the student visa system aimed at cutting immigration would be “a hostile act against Britain’s universities”.
The new system would also have a knock-on effect on Oxford’s universities and numerous language colleges, costing the local economy a potential £74 million.
A spokesperson from the University warned that cutting students’ rights to stay in the UK and work after their degrees would have a “dramatic negative effect on the UK’s higher education system and research base.
Currently 40 per cent of Oxford’s University’s postgraduate students are from countries outside the EU. 
“Having students from all over the world means Oxford has the very best minds tackling UK and global challenges,” said the spokesman.
“Closing the post-study work route would deny the UK of some of the best young researchers and those with significant entrepreneurial talent that UK universities have spent several years training.
“The proposals could cause long-term damage not only to the UK’s world-class higher education sector, but to Britain’s science and research base.”
Abhishek Bhattacharyya is a senior status student studying for a BA in English at Christ Church who came to Oxford from the University of Delhi. He said, “I think the new regulations proposed are frankly terrible.
“By limiting the possibilities for foreign students working while studying, or repaying student loans with a job here after, while simultaneously cutting university funding, the system looks designed to attract only rich international students, not good ones.
“This is bound to encourage the best students to apply elsewhere, where they have to worry less about their finances, and can think about their academic work.”
Steve Hirschhorn, principal of Eckersley Oxford, an English language college in the city, said, “The damage has already been done, to a large extent. Students are going elsewhere. Why would you come here if you are going to be treated like a criminal?”