Lord Bilimoria – who is Indian born and the founder of Cobra Beer – gave a keynote speech at the NUS International Students Section Conference held at Kents Hill Training & Conference Centre.
He condemned the government’s net migration target was “devastatingly regressive” and would also harm the UK’s education system.
He said: “To create a net migration target of “tens of thousands” while continuing to include students in government figures is both arbitrary and economically illiterate.
“It is the product of a Home Office bent on pandering to UKIP’s poisonous xenophobia while turning its back on the world’s brightest and best.”
“Cheered on by the opposition benches, the Coalition has imposed a devastatingly regressive set of immigration policies whose only possible outcome is the long-term erosion of our economy and education system.
He levelled particular criticism at Home Secretary Theresa May.
“Politicians like Theresa May are dancing to the tune of Mr Farage.
“While they continue to do so we should not be surprised if the world’s young engineers, mathematicians and entrepreneurs choose to study in Brisbane and Canberra rather than Birmingham and Cambridge.
“Britain should be setting targets to increase student migration. Not only that but we should be encouraging them to stay and work here once they have graduated.”