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Reducing the number of dependants accompanying international students to the UK has received the backing of former universities minister Chris Skidmore, in his role as International Higher Education Commission (IHEC) chair.

In setting out its interim report, the group of former government cabinet ministers, academics and higher education leaders also called for more international student recruitment to be focused on full-time degrees, rather than one-year master’s courses.

Publication of the report follows the move by Suella Braverman, the home secretary, to ban international postgraduate students from bringing family members to the country unless they are on research courses. Undergraduate students are already unable to bring dependants with them to the UK.

Former universities minister Chris Skidmore, the convenor and chairman of the IHEC, said the announcement was “on balance the correct way forward”.

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