UK Body Calls for Post Study Work Visas to Attract Foriegn Students

The APPG report also underlined the negative impact of excluding Indian students from low-risk Tier 4 visa list.


The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for international students in the United Kingdom released a report on Nov.6 saying there has been a drop in the number of international students, including Indians coming to the UK for higher studies.

The report titled “A Sustainable Future for International Students in the UK” not only called for removing international students from the target to reduce the net migration but also recommended the re-introduction of post-study work visa for them.

“The withdrawal of the PSW (post-study work) visa was attributed with a decline in international student recruitment in the UK from key markets, notably India. Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, the number of higher education students from India more than halved,” said the report citing Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data, PTI said.

APPG report also underlined the negative impact of excluding Indian students from low risk Tier 4 visa list.

“The categorization of nationalities as low or high risk creates a perception of an unwelcoming environment in the UK for international students. Evidence of this Inquiry has shown how strongly this was recently felt in India,” says the report.

The report has given twelve recommendations to restore UK’s competitiveness in the international education sector, following eight years of relative decline.

One of the recommendations is to remove the international students from the target to reduce net migration. Another recommendation is related to post work visa for students coming from all over the world. It says, “The Government should offer a clearly labeled and attractive post-study work visa which allows up to two years of work experience in the UK.”

“Increasingly restrictive policies and procedures over the last eight years have discouraged many international students from applying to the UK,” said Paul Blomfield MP, co-chair of the International Students APPG.

“We need to press the reset button, establish an ambitious strategy to increase recruitment, put new policies in place, and send out a clear message that international students are welcome in the UK,” he added.

He further said, “Our report offers a way forward for the Government, and a route-map to renewed competitiveness for our world-class universities and colleges. I urge Ministers to look carefully at our recommendations and step up to the challenge.”

According to a report in Business Line, Lord Karan Bilimoria, the crossbench member of the House of Lords said, “British universities used to lead the world in attracting international students. But now all our major competitors are growing at a rate far greater than us, and in areas where we have seen the greatest decline.”

APPG is an unofficial group of Members of the House of Lords and House of Commons in the United Kingdom.

In September this year , Universities UK (UUK), an umbrella body of leading British Universities, had said that by allowing students to work for two years after they complete their studies, United Kingdom can once again become attractive for foreign students. Since 2011, enrolments in British universities has been flat.

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