In contrast to common misconception, international students bring cultural, intellectual and economic benefits to UK education, as shown by your feature (“The Chinese who pay for state education", May 18). Both sides benefit; they access a first class liberal education and our pupils get a window on the world. The independent sector has long term experience to offer. We keep overall international student numbers low – 8% of the total – and support them carefully in and out of the classroom. At my school, Leicester Grammar, we have recruited international students, primarily Chinese, for several years and have a Mandarin-speaking staff member. Invariably they are aspirational, driven and are bemused by our unwelcoming visa regulations. If the UK wants to be compete on a world stage we need to know the competition.
HMC Chair-Elect and Headmaster of Leicester Grammar School