Tuesday, December 07 2010
Immigration Minister Damian Green is proposing tougher entrance criteria, limits on work and an end to students staying in the UK to look for a job.
The coalition government has committed to reforming the immigration system to achieve its overall aim of reducing net migration, in addition to the introduction of an annual limit on workers from outside the EU.
The student route accounts for two thirds of migrants entering the UK each year but Home Office research has revealed that 41 percent of students coming through this route were studying below degree level courses.
The drive to ensure students return overseas after their course finishes will mean students will have to leave the UK and apply for a new visa to further their studies, and show evidence of progression to a higher course.
The Government will also look at ways to improve the inspection and accreditation of the education sector, to ensure the courses offered by private institutions of further and higher education are of the highest quality.
Launching the public consultation, Damian Green said: "I believe attracting talented students from abroad is vital to the UK but we must be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay. People imagine students to be those who come here for a few years to study at university and then go home - that is not always the case. Too many students coming to study at below degree level have been coming here to live and work, rather than studying. We need to stop this abuse." And he added, "Today's proposals follow a major review of the system, and are aimed at a more selective system and, crucially, reducing the numbers to meet our target of reducing net migration to sustainable levels. This Government wants high calibre students with the genuine desire to study to come to our country for temporary periods, and then return home. We want to hear views of our proposals from a wide range of people so that our reforms meet this objective." The consultation is available here.
Promoted by Alan Mabbutt on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP