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British Council, Universities UK oppose student visa rule changes

Two leading organisations – the British Council and Universities UK – have opposed the recent changes to student visa rules that may reduce Britain’s attraction as a destination for students from India and other countries.

Of all the changes, the most controversial is the abolition of the post-study work visa from April, which allowed self-financing students from India and other non-EU countries to recover some of the cost of their courses here as well as gain valuable work experience for two years.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “We support the elimination of abuse in the visa system but are concerned that an unintended consequence of the changes to Tier 4 is that legitimate students will be put off, or prevented from studying in the UK”.

She added: “We are particularly concerned about limited provision for post-study employment in the new rules. We recognise that unrestricted access to the labour market is not possible in the current economic climate, but the new rules risk having a disproportionate impact on particular sectors, regions and professions, and reducing the global talent pool from which employers can recruit”.

Amidst reports of falling number of student applications from India, the British Council has called for an “urgent review” of the changes to the student visa system, particularly the closure of the popular post-study work visa from April this year.

The British Council, which is responsible for promoting British education overseas, presented a detailed report to the government on the likely impact the recent student visa changes will have, and compared the experiences of Australia and US in this regard. (The Economic Times)

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