FOREIGN students are under scrutiny with a new inquiry being carried out by the government's Migration Advisory Committee.

The body has been charged with assessing the impact of international students on the economy, on the labour market and on education provision for domestic students.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns, who recently praised the town's language schools for their contribution to the economy, welcomed the inquiry.

"I have been very consistent for years that including students in the net migration figures has had the consequence of mixing them up in the toxic debate around immigration," he said.

"The English language is one of our priceless national assets and having foreign students come to the UK to study English or degrees in higher education, then returning to their home countries as ambassadors for Britain having been exposed to our way of life, values and culture is incredibly valuable.

"Policy should be based on facts, not emotion. I expect and hope this will see students removed from net migration figures."

Launching the inquiry, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "There is no limit to the number of genuine international students who can come to the UK to study and the fact that we remain the second most popular global destination for those seeking higher education is something to be proud of.

"We understand how important students from around the world are to our higher education sector, which is a key export for our country, and that’s why we want to have a robust and independent evidence base of their value and the impact they have."

The committee is due to report back by September next year.