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business leader Neil Pick is calling on the government to take international students out of the net migration figures.

The chief executive of Meridian School of English based at Portsmouth Guildhall says change is needed on a policy that is damaging one of the city’s most successful invisible sectors, the English language market.

Mr Pick said: ‘We are damaging a crucial source of revenue and soft power for the UK, with a policy that needs to change, and we are working with other organisations to influence this policy with all the main political parties.’

Nationally, university bosses, MPs and six parliamentary committees have called on the government to take students out of the migration targets.

The company welcomes more than 5,000 students every year to its Portsmouth and Plymouth offices.