May 2018 E-Bulletin
Home Office data reveals Tier 2 visa refusals
 
Yesterday CaSE published a Freedom of Information response we received from the Home Office detailing the number of Tier 2 visa refusals due to the annual cap over the last four months.

The figures reveal that between December 2017 and March 2018, the Government have refused over 6,000 applications for skilled overseas workers holding a job offer due to an arbitrary cap on visas, including engineers, tech professionals, doctors and teachers

Details of the finding were presented by CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main in her evidence session with the Exiting the European Union Select Committee on Brexit and science in Parliament yesterday morning.  CaSE also published a comment piece looking at the numbers  in more detail  along with  the full data set  given to us by the Home Office.

CaSE's announcement included supportive comments from MPs across the political parties, and other groups throughout the sector affected by the cap, including CaSE member organisations. The story was covered by BBC News, BBC Radio 4's Today, The Financial Times, Times Higher Education, LBC, Talk Radio, and an editorial in The Evening Standard.

CaSE reiterated its call to exempt roles on the Government's Shortage Occupation Lists and PhD level roles from the Tier 2 visa cap, thereby creating headroom for other vital roles.  This follows  our letter  to the Prime Minister in March, supported by over 40 organisations, calling on the government to take urgent action in revising current immigration policy. 

The Tier 2 recommendations are taken from CaSE's recent immigration report , which calls on the government to rebuild confidence in the short term and create a streamlined system in the long term that supports research and innovation.  These also form part of CaSE's new Brexit report , published t o mark the year anniversary of the triggering of article 50, which sets out  policy asks from the science and engineering sector on people, funding and regulation.

Following the publication of the Tier 2 visa refusal numbers, the Commons Science & Technology Committee announced a new inquiry to develop its own proposals for immigration and visa rules for scientists, which CaSE will be feeding into. We recently produced a digest of the Government's response to the Science & Technology Committee report on Brexit and you can read our original response to the Committee's inquiry here
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Research and Investment
 
Last month CaSE organised a roundtable discussion bringing  together officials from HM Treasury and BEIS with representatives from CaSE organisational members, kindly hosted by Boeing at their London offices. 

The roundtable was convened to inform Treasury's early thinking on achieving the ambition of increasing combined public and private R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027,  and you can read a summary of the event here .

CaSE also responded to the new report from the Public Accounts Committee, highlighting concerns over the lack of a clear plan from Government to meet research investment targets. 

Elsewhere on CaSE Comment, Policy Officer James Tooze has picked out some of the key details from the recent House of Commons debate on the industrial strategy.

Brexit and Regulation
 
Last month CaSE came together with seven other science and medical research organisations to call on the the UK Government to commit to align with the EU Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR).  Following this work alongside others in the sector, the Government has now confirmed that they will commit to aligning with the CTR as far as they can, and will put this in legislation when appropriate.

CaSE's recent Brexit report set out a number of policy asks  on regulation , including stability and harmonisation of regulation in established areas.  The briefing was accompanied by a dossier compiling some of our members concerns and priorities for scientific regulations post-Brexit.
New organisational member
 
CaSE are very pleased to welcome the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) as a new organisational member and our first venture capital fund. We look forward to encompassing UKI2S's distinctive perspective as a science investor into our policy work and advocacy to Government.

If you are interested in finding out more about organisational membership of CaSE please do contact  Anna Dil.
Diary
 
Over the last few weeks CaSE has met with Parliamentarians including  Layla Moran MP and Angela Smith MP,  as  well as engaging with officials from BEIS and UKRI, and continuing to take part in the Science Minister's High Level Stakeholder Group on EU Exit. Dr Sarah Main also gave evidence to the Exiting the European Union Select Committee on Brexit, science and higher education.  

CaSE has engaged with a wide range of organisational members, including  King's College London, University of Edinburgh,  University College London, Institute of Physics, Epilepsy Society, The Royal Astronomical Society, Society of Experimental Biology, and Imperial College London.

CaSE has also met with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Social Market Foundation, The Observer, Sense About Science, and Blue Sky Ventures. 

Our staff have attended and contributed to a number of events from Queen Mary University of London, University Alliance, the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group, and the Going Global Summit.
Guest Blog 

Dr Olivia Champion, co founder and CEO of BioSystems Technology (BST), on the rewards and challenges of setting up your own commercial enterprise

Ian Taylor, Chair of the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, on the need to commercialise key technological advances and maintain the UK economy's competitiveness.

Ian Robinson, an immigration law partner at Fragomen Worldwide, discusses the current balance of Government immigration action in the face of Brexit.

Seamus Nevin, Head of Policy Research at the Institute of Directors, discusses skills shortages and ineffectual immigration policies in the UK

Our Guest Blog series brings together topical comment and views from members and collaborators across the science and engineering sector. If you would like to write an article for our blog, please get in touch
Open consultations

House of Commons Education committee
Closing date: 30 May 2018

Tertiary Education and Research Commission for Wales
Welsh Government
Closing date: 17 July 2018
The UK's economic relationship with the European Union inquiry
Commons Treasury Committee
Closing date: ongoing open consultation

Post-Brexit migration policy
House of Commons Home Affairs committee
Closing date: open consultation
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