There are forecasts that the proposed cap on immigration is likely to reduce vastly the number of foreign student in our universities. This seems to me to be totally dotty. Higher education is one of the few "products" that we offer which is "World Class": why on earth stop people buying it? As anyone studying "A" level economics will tell you, a foreign student coming here to buy one of our courses is the equivalent of an export (that's without taking into account the additional money they will spend in living expenses and entertainment while they are here.) Stopping then buying the product is the equivalent of refusing to sell Rolls Royce engines to the Australian. By pandering to the prejudices of the tabloids and Tory right the government is about to score a devastating own goal.
It is also a devastating comment on the values of our society that whereas top class footballers are to be excluded from the cap, top class scientists are not. If our universities are to maintain their "World Class" status then they need to be able to employ the best of international talent.
We get the impression that Vince Cable is trying to resist this nonsense: all power to his elbow.