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Immigration: How will proposed UK student visa rules change education?

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Changes to the UK student visa system are currently being looked at by the government and are set for change.

New proposals currently under consultation want to:

  • clamp down on the number of bogus colleges offering foreign students places;
  • reduce the number of UK student visas awarded to people wanting to attend sub-degree courses;
  • raise the English language requirements for overseas students;
  • tighten regulations around foreign students working while in the UK.

Home Secretary Theresa May is on record saying in a UK Borders Agency report: "In recent years, the system as a whole has been allowed to operate in a manner which is not sustainable.

"Unchecked migration can place significant pressure on our public services and can damage community cohesion if not properly managed."

But the changes to the visa regime are under fire from educational institutions and immigration experts who believe the proposals are flawed.

A recent survey by law firm Evershed found that three in 10 colleges and universities are considering setting up a campus overseas and more than 90 per cent believe that increased collaboration with foreign colleges is likely.

The end result is that new student visa rules could drive UK education overseas, with particular consequences for the further education sector.

Others fear plans to restrict or even terminate the popular two-year post-study UK work visa, which allows students to spend time after graduation looking for a job or engaging in further study will severely disrupt the ability for overseas students to earn and afford to stay in the UK.

What do you think about the new student visa propsals?

Will UK education suffer or be better off?

Has this put you or your family off studying in the UK?

Join the debate in the Findlaw Community, where you'll find answer to most major topics within UK law.

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