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UK makes it easier for international students to earn after they learn

The UK government makes a welcome move in favour of international students. Post study work will now be easier (for some).
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   27-12-2017
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The UK is extending its pilot visa scheme from 4 to 27 universities. The changes will include a simpler visa application process for prospective Masters students, greater opportunity to switch to a work visa and take up employment, and eligibility to remain in the UK for six months after completing their studies.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said, “I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.”

The original scheme, launched in 2016, was offered at Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College London. The 23 universities added to the scheme will include Scottish, Irish, and Welsh institutions. The minister said that these universities have been chosen because “their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.”

Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group of UK Universities, expressed his support for the move. He said, “We hope to see this scheme rolled out more widely as soon as possible to those universities that can demonstrate high levels of compliance with the visa regulations.”

The minister noted that higher education is a critical sector in the UK. According to a report by Universities UK, British universities contributed 95 billion GBP towards the economy, and supported 940,000 jobs across the country in 2014-15. International students are a big part of the picture. But the UK’s stringent visa policies has damaged growth in student numbers and therefore in revenue.

According to the UK Council for International Affairs (UKCISA), 46% students studying at the postgraduate level are international (outside EU). While still a popular destination for Chinese students, the UK is not as attractive for Indian students as it once was – thanks to the removal of post-study work options. The number of Indian students continues to fall – decreasing over 44% in the last 5 years. In 2015-16, the number of Indians enrolled in UK higher education institutions was 16,745. This number can shrink further unless the government relaxes visa norms, and makes welcome moves such as the extension of this scheme.

The 23 universities to be added to the pilot are:

  • Cardiff University
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • Harper Adams University
  • Newcastle University
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Reading
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Wales Trinity St. David (Swansea Campus)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York
Here’s more on the UK student visas
Is the UK government right about international students?
UK Prime Minister Theresa May urged to ease visa rules for Indians
How to earn money while you're studying in the UK
Your visa options after graduating from a university in the UK


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