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Reforms On UK Student Visa System

08 Dec 2010


UK government has published a consultation on the reform of student entry route to the UK which will run for 8 weeks.  In a view to attract the top students to UK’s top universities, the government has become selective and robust.

Damian Green, the Immigration Minister said,” “I believe attracting talented students from abroad is vital to the UK but we must be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.

“People imagine students to be those who come here for a few years to study at university and then go home - that are not always the case. Too many students coming to study below degree level have been coming here to live and work, rather than studying. We need to stop this abuse.

“Today’s proposals follow a major review of the system, and are aimed at a more selective system and, crucially, reducing the numbers to meet our target of reducing net migration to sustainable levels.

“This government wants high calibre students with the genuine desire to study to come to our country for temporary periods, and then return home. We want to hear views of our proposals from a wide range of people so that our reforms meet this objective.”

The consultation would aim at seeking views on measures to reduce the number of students coming to UK. Proposals include:

  • reducing the number of people coming to the UK to study at below degree level;
  • introducing a tougher English language requirement;
  • ensuring students wishing to extend their studies show evidence of academic progression;
  • limiting students' entitlements to work and their ability to bring in dependants; and
  • improving the accreditation process for education providers, alongside more rigorous inspections.

Overall, the UK government is committed to make changes across the immigration system ultimately aiming at reducing net immigration. Generally, every year two thirds of migrants entering UK are students.

Following the consultation, the government will make an announcement on the new student visa policy. The government plans to begin implementing the changes from April 2011.

Some of the proposed changes by Damian Green are tougher entrance criteria, limits on work and an end to students staying in the UK to look for a job.

Launching a public consultation on the reform of the student entry route to the UK of the points-based system - the Home Office also revealed that 41 per cent of students coming through this route were studying below degree level courses.

Also, the Government will be looking at ways to improve the inspection and accreditation of the education sector, to ensure the courses offered by private institutions of further and higher education are of the highest quality.


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