The Midland economy is losing out because of a drop in the number of foreign students coming to study in the UK, according to a regional business leader.

John Rider, chairman of the Institute of Directors in the West Midlands, claims the Midland economy has lost revenue as around 45,000 fewer international students came to the study in Britain in the past year.

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has renewed its call on the Government to remove international students from its migration target of less than 100,000 people a year.

The Committee said the evidence used by the Government to reject the removal of students from the target figure was “too weak to justify a policy with such profound implications” for the education sector.

“The concern over immigration is impacting upon business,” Mr Rider said.

“MPs are right to feel frustrated by the Government’s inaction on student visas. Now that the overall net migration figures are falling, ministers should remove students from the target.

“It is good for our economy, our universities and our international trade links to have the world’s brightest people coming here to study, and it is deeply unwise to push them into the arms of our competitors.”