Review Student Visa Rules: British Council

17 Feb 2012


Immigration News

Amidst reports of declining number of student applications from India, the British Council has called for an "urgent review" of recent changes to the student visa system, particularly the closure of the popular post-study work visa from April this year.

The British Council, which is responsible for promoting British education overseas, presented a detailed report to the government on the likely impact the recent student visa changes will have, and compared the experiences of Australia and US in this regard.

Indians are among the highest number of international students coming to the UK every year, and many apply for the post-study work visa to recover some of the funds spent to study here, but the closure of the post-study work visa is seen as a major deterrent.

There are already reports of a decline of nearly 30 per cent in applications from the Indian sub-continent.

International students are estimated to contribute over 14 billion pounds annually to the UK economy.

This week, Immigration minister Damian Green announced that new rules will come into force within weeks to cut abuse of the student visa route and ensure that only the brightest and the best students can stay and work in the UK.

A British Council spokesperson told today that it "absolutely supports" the David Cameron government's aim to attract genuine students to the UK, and prevent 'bogus' students from entering and taking places ahead of genuine students.

In a report titled 'Impact of Visa Changes on Student Mobility and Outlook for the UK', the British Council said: "Students from certain countries who mainly study postgraduate courses in the UK - such as India, Pakistan and others -- will be affected by the removal of the post-study work visa... The sooner this situation is addressed, the more contained the damage of bad publicity overseas will be."

Jo Beall, director of education and society at the British Council, told Times Higher Education (THE), an authoritative publication focused on the higher education sector, that an "urgent review" was required to prevent damage to the British economy and the possible closure of university departments.

They had previously reported that British universities had been "hit by a downturn in demand from Indian students", and added that "a number of institutions" had seen declines of between 20 and 30 per cent in applicant numbers from the Indian subcontinent.

 

The British Council report said: "Students from certain countries who mainly study postgraduate courses in the UK - such as India, Pakistan and others -- will be affected by the removal of the post-study work visa."

It added: "This will also affect full-time postgraduate courses. Subjects allied to engineering and biotechnology will be among the ones most susceptible to a plunge in the demand. Their vitality in the mid-term will be put to the test."

All recent immigration changes, the report said, had "managed to single out the UK" as the country with the toughest immigration regime when compared to its competitors.

Source:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/nri/visa-and-immigration/review-student-visa-rules-british-council/articleshow/11914862.cms


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