I didn't record it, and I can't seem to find a place where it was recorded. But did I not hear Gordon Brown say, as evidence of the government's control of immigration, that Britain will have 40,000 fewer students this year? And that was supposed to be a plus point? Where is the merit in Britain having fewer students? And does that crass statement not underline the points we have repeatedly made about political interference in international education, and specifically about the dire "Prime Minister's Initiative" (and the egregious role of the appalling "British Council")? The declared purpose of "PMI" and "PMI2" was to get those numbers up, and we have now have a prime minister seeking re-election on the basis that he is bringing them down. What a sorry mess. What a misunderstanding of what Britain does well. What a failure to support a major contributor to the economy in post-industrial Britain. What a bunch of losers. What a betrayal.
[Edit: What the PM actually said was "40,000 less students this year I suspect because of our tightening of visa controls". Some achievement.]