Non-EU students will be ordered to leave the country when their university courses have ended under new measures to be introduced by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Under new rules, non-EU nationals will be refused the right to work in the UK and will be unable to apply for a visa extension once their university or college course has finished. Students will have to leave the country and reapply to return on a work visa.
Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, said that the policy was part of the government’s plan to control immigration ‘for the benefit of Britain’. He told MailOnline:
Hard-working taxpayers who are helping to pay for publicly funded colleges expect them to be providing topclass education, not a back door to a British work visa.
However, universities and business leaders are concerned about the damage that the changes could have on both the higher education sector and the UK economy, potentially robbing businesses of graduates with vital skills. Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills at the Institute of Directors, said:
Britain already makes it difficult and artificially expensive for international students to enter and stay, and now these proposals would eject them ignominiously when their studies are finished. Restricting talented workers from staying on in the UK would damage business and lead to a loss of important skills.
Shutting the door to highly-trained international graduates at a time when our economy needs them most would be hugely damaging for UK businesses. In the interests our education sector, our businesses, and our international standing, the Business Secretary should reconsider this proposal.
Government figures indicate that 121,000 Non-EU students entered the UK over the 12 months to June last year, while 51,000 left the country – totaling a net influx of 70,000 students during that time period.