Sadiq Khan also vows to make London a more affordable place to study in interview with London Met journalism students.
Date: 9 December 2016
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has described London as “the higher education capital of the world” and pledged to keep the city open to international students, in an interview with journalism undergraduates at London Metropolitan University.
Talking to London Met’s student newspaper, Verve, the Mayor also said he wants to make London a more affordable place to study.
“Some of my fondest memories, as someone who was born and raised in London, date back to my years as a student at the University of North London, now known as the London Metropolitan University,” he said. “My burning ambition is that every Londoner gets the same opportunities that this great city offered me. And our fantastic universities play such a crucial role in doing just that. London is the higher education capital of the world, with more leading universities and international students than any other city and I want to make sure it stays that way.
“The vast majority of students who come from abroad to study in London leave as ambassadors for our city, Londoners in their own right, spreading the message across the globe that London is a fantastic place to live, work, study and visit.
“That’s why I’ve said loud and clear to the world that even after the referendum vote that London is still open for talent, business and ideas.”
Mr Khan also said he intends to work closely with universities in the capital throughout the Brexit uncertainty ahead.
“It is so important to me that all our international students and academic staff know that London is open. I value the enormous contribution they make to our city and I will continue to work with London’s higher education institutions to ensure their needs are properly understood and reflected as we negotiate the right settlement with the EU for our international students and staff.”
The Mayor said he is seeking to make London a more affordable place for students to live by addressing rental costs through building more houses and bringing in new initiatives to lower transport costs.
“I know that rent costs and transport fares are a cause for real concern. That’s why I’ve made it clear that tackling London’s housing crisis is my number-one priority and why I’m paving the way for more affordable homes to buy and rent across the capital. I want students to be able to work towards owning their home when they graduate as well as being able to afford to live in the city while they are studying.
“My new Hopper fare means that if you are travelling by bus then you can make two journeys for the price of one within an hour, saving Londoners millions in the process.”
The Mayor also urged students in London to explore and enjoy their city, naming it “the world's cultural capital, sports capital, entertainment capital and much more, offering a fantastic education in itself.
“Enjoy every minute of it,” he said.