Home Secretary Theresa May's plans to cut the number of foreign students coming to Britain will only have half the effect previously suggested.
The Home Office plans will cut the number of non-EU students coming to the UK by 46,000 a year, despite claims in March that the number of students and their dependants would be reduced by 100,000 a year.
The move is part of David Cameron's drive to bring net immigration down from more than 200,000 to tens of thousands annually by 2015.
Home Office estimates now show there will be around 230,000 fewer student visa grants over the full five years of the parliament.
But speaking in March, Mrs May said she expected the measures would reduce the number of student visas issued by 70,000-80,000 annually - equivalent to a 25% fall - and up to 400,000 by 2015.
Officials indicated the number of dependants coming to the UK was still likely to go down by around 20,000 a year.
Mrs May wants to crack down on bogus students and restore confidence in the visa system.
Since the new Government came to power in May last year, 33 educational providers have had their licences revoked for abuses.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "These figures show that this Government will not hesitate in taking action against educational providers who do not abide by our rules."