In response to the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report, Academy President, Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci said:
“I am pleased to see the MAC recognise the important contribution that highly-skilled migrants make to the UK.
“Research and innovation is an inherently international pursuit and, as the report identifies, migrants contribute to this endeavour both directly as researchers and inventors and indirectly by bringing new skills and perspectives. Together this helps to create the diverse and creative environment we need for research to flourish.
“The report recognises that the ambition laid out in this Government’s Industrial Strategy will not be achieved by limiting highly-skilled migration and it recommends that, in the future, it should be easier for higher-skilled workers to come to the UK.
“Although these conclusions are welcome, it is essential to recognise that a simple expansion of the current visa system for non-EEA nationals to cover all migrants will not be fit for purpose.
“In the future, in order to maintain the UK’s excellent reputation in research, we must be able to attract and recruit the best teaching, research and technical talent. This will require an immigration system that is more efficient and less bureaucratic so that researchers, as well their families and dependants, are able to come to the UK without facing excessive delays or financial burden.”