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Foreign student allegations 'ill-founded'

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The British Council is urging Universities to improve their treatment of overseas students who it says are often being treated as cash cows to plug the hole left by public spending cuts.

The warning comes after a number of foreign students complained to the organisation about their experience at UK Universities.

Martin Davidson, chief executive of the British Council told the Today programme that, "as universities become more worried about long term funding, it is very important indeed that they don't simply see foreign students as an easy way of meeting those funding difficulties."

He added that there was a "great variety" in how Universities are approaching foreign students.

Professor Colin Riordan, vice-chancellor of the University of Essex and Chair of Universities UK's International and European Policy Committee, criticised the comments, "I find this a very ill-founded, ill-judged and irresponsible set of allegations".

He added that the number of foreign students coming to the UK was rising as, "we operate on a high basis and offer them value for money".

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