UK has introduced new strict new criteria to be met by foreign students. Visas will only be granted to students who show a proven-track record in education and are applying for a course that meets a minimum level of qualification. Students on courses for longer than 12 months will have to show they have sufficient funds to pay their first year of fees, plus £9,600 to cover their first year in the UK. Students wishing to bring their dependants with them will need to show they have a further £535 per month for each person they bring.
Students will also face stringent new criteria if they want to study in the UK, ensuring only those who benefit Britain can come. Before they can study in the UK, foreign students must be sponsored by a UKBA-licensed education institution; prove that they have the means to support themselves and their families while studying here; and supply their fingerprints.
Under the new proposals published by the Home Office, all colleges and universities that want to recruit foreign students will now need a licence to do so and will have to take greater responsibility for their international students, helping Government crack down on bogus colleges who abuse the system.
Border and Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: "All those who come to Britain must play by the rules. It is right that foreign students wanting to take advantage of our world-class universities and colleges must meet strict criteria. "By locking people to one identity with ID cards, alongside a tough new sponsorship system, we will know exactly who is coming here to study and crack down on bogus colleges."
Each year, international students contribute £2.5 billion to the UK economy in tuition fees alone and an overall estimated contribution of £8.5 billion.
In recognition of the many economic and cultural benefits that these students bring to the UK, earlier this year the Government announced a special visa category allowing successful international students who have graduated from a British university to work in the UK for up to two years.