SCOTTISH ministers have launched a campaign to promote the country's universities abroad.

Higher education minister Graeme Dey said the strategy will help maximise the social and economic benefits of international students in Scotland.

The campaign will aim to attract more staff from around the world and encourage international students to stay in the country after qualifying to work in key growth sectors.

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A talent attracting and migration service will also be launched later in the year to provide advice for students considering staying in Scotland post-qualification.

Dey, who launched the strategy at Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday, said: “Scotland already has more top universities per head of population than any other country in the world. This strategy sets out our collective aim to create the conditions for our universities and colleges to continue to flourish.

“In the coming months and years, we will continue to work with Scotland’s universities and colleges to help them diversify their international student research, and staff population, by enhancing our reputation as a world-leading safe and inclusive country, with open-minded social policies.

“We will help maximise the social and economic benefits of international higher education, and we will continue to promote Scotland’s world leading research and knowledge exchange sector on the global stage.”

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In 2022-23, more than 83,000 students came to study in Scotland from over 180 countries, with international students making up a quarter of the total student population.

However, planned changes around immigration rules mean there are worries Scotland could become a less attractive destination for international students.

In Holyrood on December 7, Dey said: "The UK Government’s latest attacks on immigration could have a devastating impact on our universities.

"They risk the economic, social and cultural contribution that international students make not only to campuses, but to Scotland."

In addition, there are fears that the UK government may scrap the graduate visa, a post-study visa which sees tens of thousands of students allowed to stay in the UK and work after graduation every year.