Half of international students do not feel welcome in the UK, a poll has found.

A new survey by the National Union of Students (NUS) suggests that current government policies are affecting foreign students' perceptions of the UK, and that many are still being put off studying here.

It found that just over half of the more than 3000 students surveyed (50.7%) felt the UK government was not welcoming.

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The numbers were higher for some countries than others, with around two thirds of the students from Japan (64.5%), Nigeria (62.8%) and India (62%) saying that they felt this way.

Postgraduate students from overseas felt less welcome than undergraduates, the survey suggests.

It also found nearly one-fifth (19%) of international students would not recommend the UK to a friend or relative as a place to study.

Daniel Stevens, NUS international students' officer, said: "These figures confirm what we have been saying all along. Many international students feel unwelcome in the UK as a result of the government's hostile and overzealous policies."

A survey published yesterday by the Migration Observatory research group showed 58% of Scots wanted immigration cut, compared with 75% of people in the rest if the UK.