Immigration crackdown may affect universities, row in Britain

Written on:May 30, 2023
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Visa row hits Britain (Image courtesy A2Z School of English)

The UK university heads are worrying that the toughening up of rules surrounding student visas may reduce the number of foreign students and affect the universities both academically and financially.

The universities are concerned about a series of changes to the student visa system that they claim are likely to deter foreigners from studying in Britain.

The changes include banning students from remaining in the country after graduating unless they earn at least £20,000 in a skilled job, therefore preventing them from taking degrees that last for more than five years.

The letter has been signed by 68 chancellors, governors and university presidents. Signatories to the letter include former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell, who is the chancellor of St Andrews University, as well as broadcaster Lord Bragg, the chancellor of the University of Leeds.

They also include former Conservative minister Virginia Bottomley, the chancellor of the University of Hull, and Patrick Stewart, the chancellor of the University of Huddersfield.

The letter – circulated by UK universities – says that Britain currently attracts around 10% foreign undergraduates and postgraduates who study outside their home country. This generates around £8 billion a year for the nation in tuition fees and other investments, with the total amount expected to more than double by 2025, the letter claims.

But Immigration Minister Damian Green refuted saying the Office for National Statistics was responsible for producing net migration figures, which were based on an internationally agreed definition of a migrant – someone entering the country for more than a year.

Green insisted the policy did not stop genuine students coming to the UK but said the government was “determined to prevent the abuse of student visas as part of our plans to get net migration down to the tens of thousands”.

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2 Comments add one

  1. Aniston says:

    Last year America earned more than $20 billion from undergraduate and postgraduate students coming to study in the US from abroad. Great Britain is still way short of the mark.

  2. Richards says:

    The crippled education system is badly in need of corrective measures and for that to happen, we first need to get rid of all the nerds populating the corridors of our universities. Foreign students visit Britain because they still have respect for our past. Now we must understand that the practice of basking in the glory of the past has its expiry date.

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