More than two thirds of Britons want to see a limit imposed on the number of foreign students coming to the country, a survey found Monday.
Study is the most common reason for people coming to the UK for more than a year and seven in 10 people would like to see a cap imposed, the poll of almost 3,000 adults showed.
Britons also backed tough enforcement action over immigration offences, with most saying that bogus students with insufficient English skills, those working instead of studying, and those who have overstayed their visas should all be deported.
The survey of 2,910 Britons for the campaign group Migration Watch UK found 70 percent said there should be a limit on the number of foreign students coming to Britain, while only a fifth (22 percent) were opposed.
Those polled were told that some 250,000 foreign students from outside the EU come to the UK every year to study, providing universities and colleges with valuable income, and about one in five stay on legally.
But the lack of exit checks means it is not known how many go home at the end of their studies.
A different poll of more than 1,000 people last year by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford found only one in three people wanted to see student immigration reduced.
Today's survey comes after universities minister David Willetts said last week that the Government plans to show the numbers of students leaving the country under plans to improve its net migration figures.
The UK Government wants to reduce net migration from the current 216,000 to "tens of thousands" by 2015.
Willetts also announced a 2 million pounds fund to support international students who must transfer to another course from London Metropolitan University after the Government revoked its highly-trusted sponsor status. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) found more than a quarter of a sample of students studying at the university did not even have permission to stay in the country. Today's survey also found 70 percent of Britons thought students with insufficient English for their courses should be deported, 84 percent thought those found to be working rather than studying should be deported, and 87 percent thought that those who had overstayed their visas should be sent home.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said in a a statement: "When the questions are posed in their factual and policy context the public display the firm common sense that one would expect." The Migration Watch UK poll was carried out by "YouGov" who surveyed 2,910 adults online between September 9 and 11, with the figures weighted to be representative of all British adults.