"The number of foreign students let into the UK is "unsustainable", Immigration Minister Damian Green is to say.
- In a speech later, he will question whether Britain is attracting the brightest and best students - with only half the visas for university courses.
Mr Green's comments come as Home Office research suggests one-fifth of students were still in the UK five years after being granted visas.
- The Home Office study tracked non-EU migrants who came to the UK in 2004.
The largest group - some 185,000 people - were students, and 21% per cent were still in the country five years later.
- BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says this, together with an increasing number of new overseas students, has led Mr Green to make reform of the student immigration route a priority.
Ministers also intend to examine work visas as two-fifths of people in this group remained in the UK after five years.
- Mr Green said: "We can't assume that everyone coming here has skills the UK workforce cannot offer."
It will be the minister's first major speech on immigration since the formation of the coalition government.
- Office for National Statistics figures released last month showed net migration to the UK increased by 33,000 to 196,000 in 2009.
The number of visas issued to students went up by 35% to 362,015.
- Mr Green said the figures were proof the coalition government had inherited
- an immigration system "largely out of control".
"What these figures tell me is that we also need to look at all the other routes [aside from employment] by which people come into this country, maybe for education, for family reunion reasons and also,
- in particular, routes that lead to permanent settlement," he said."