As a part of the measure the UK government wants to use to boost the numbers of international students after Brexit, it has decided to give about a year visa extension to foreign students to search for jobs in the UK after their academic programme has ended.
This action shows a break with the current policy which permits the students to remain in the UK for four months only after graduation.
The Department of Education (DfE), when announcing the strategy said that the number of foreign students expected to study in the country is not limited and in order for the country to continue being educationally attractive an extension for post-study leave has been slated for a year for the PhDs and six months for the undergraduates and Master’s.
This announcement also hinted another possible policy change as it said that the government would consider the ways for the improvement of visa processes for applicants and support of students employment.
Potential Increase in the Number of International Students
Alongside the extended visas, the Department for International Trade in partnership with the DfE intends to reveal a global education strategy which will bring a 30% increase in the number of international students in higher institutions during the next 10 years. As such, the number of non-UK students will increase from 460,000 to 600,000, with EU citizens being 140,000.
The above target is very ambitious given that there will be an increase in fees and loss of access for students loans for EU students after Brexit.
Damian Hindi, the Education Secretary, said that the country is in preparation to leave the EU; hence, reaching out to the country’s global partners and maximizing the potential of its best assets is important. This includes our education offers and the foreign students it attracts.
The Vice-chancellor of Liverpool University and Chair of Universities UK, Janet Beer said that the impact of foreign students in the country is not only felt economically but also enriches the educational environment as well. As such, the extension of the visa period to enable them to work for a while in the country is very welcomed.
She added that it would be lovely that the government approves a 2-year extension.
This extension of visa was recommended by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee and the government’s own white paper on skilled-based immigration last year.
Presently, an extra four months is awarded a graduate for a stay in the UK after studies, while the PhDs have to apply for an extra year.
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