Visa rules mean UK is ‘unwelcoming’ for foreign students

The Telegraph is reporting warnings from higher education experts that stricter rules on student visas give the impression that the UK “does not welcome international students”…

Yesterday it was announced that, from November, educational institutions would lose their status as a highly trusted sponsor if 10 per cent of students recruited by the university or college are refused visas. The current threshold stands at 20 per cent.

Writing in the Telegraph, David Cameron said that “the most egregious examples” of abuse of the immigration system were those “enrolling at bogus colleges”. He added that the new measures would ensure “colleges do proper checks on students”.

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: “Sadly, I think it is yet more evidence that the Home Office is more interested in headlines than working co-operatively with the university sector to resolve any genuine problems that exist.

“It is bound to encourage the idea that the UK does not welcome international students yet further…

The University of Buckingham has the highest proportion of international students in the UK, with over half coming from overseas.

A spokeswoman for the university said that while visa refusal rates were well below the 20 per cent threshold last year, a “reduction to 10 per cent will place enormous burdens on universities at a time when recruitment of international students is so crucial to the UK economy and for the survival of reputable institutions”.

In April, a study from the Higher Education Funding Council for England suggested that the number of international students recruited by English universities had dropped for the first time in 30 years – reversing a long-term upwards trend.

With around 30 per cent of institutions’ total income coming from foreign students, the study warned that the decline could have a “major impact” on university finances…

More at: Visa rules mean UK is ‘unwelcoming’ for foreign students


Are these latest moves to crack down on so-called ‘bogus colleges’ likely to be an own goal by putting off legitimate overseas students from coming here and are they addressing a genuine issue that needs to be tackled? Please tell us what you think and what should be done in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Higher Education.


  1. jess_madge

    SchoolsImprove If UK had computer system that knew who had overstayed then that might be more useful. Like Australia, NZ and HL have.

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