A poll conducted for an influential pressure group on immigration issues says that 70% of Britons want a limit on the number of Indian and other non-EU students coming here to study.
Results of the poll by YouGov and Migration Watch UK were released as a task force formed to help Indian and other non-EU students affected by the recent revocation of London Metropolitan University's licence began on Monday.
The university's licence to admit and teach non-EU students was revoked by the UK Border Agency on August 29 due to 'systemic and serious failures', throwing academic plans of thousands of current and new students in disarray.
Migration Watch UK said in the poll, a key question asked of respondents explained that about 250,000 foreign students from outside the EU arrive every year to study in Britain.
They pay the full cost of studying and provide colleges with valuable income.
About one in five stay on legally after their studies and become long-term immigrants while others return home but, as there are still no exit checks, the number who have actually left is not known, it said.
Thinking about this, respondents were asked whether there should be a limit on foreign student numbers in British colleges and universities. According to the results, 70% said there should be a limit while 22% said there should not and 7% did not know.
Support for a limit was strong across political parties according to respondents' intention to vote, with 70% of Conservatives, 66% of Labour and 57% of Liberal Democrats in favour of a limit.
The strongest support was in Scotland at 76%, while the lowest was in London at 62%.
Women were more likely than men to favour a limit by 74% to 67%, Migration Watch UK said.