The Home Office has launched a new pilot scheme offering universities a range of specialist immigration services.
Universities will now have a dedicated point of contact within the UK Border Agency as well as access to expert advice and information.
“British universities are among the greatest in the world – and we want to continue helping them to recruit the brightest and the best students from overseas,” Immigration Minister Damian Green said. “We have listened to feedback from the sector and acted, which is why we are bringing forward these improvements. At the same time we are committed to radically reforming the student visa system to weed out abuse and protect the UK from those looking to play the system.”
The UK Border Agency has worked closely with Universities UK in developing the scheme.
Its services include: a dedicated account manager; training events for universities on topics such as compliance and how to maintain highly trusted sponsor status; access to a range of events each year; the ability to quickly check whether or not a potential student is eligible to come to the UK; and receipt of a monthly report outlining how many overseas students have taken up the university’s offer to sponsor their study in the UK.
If the pilot is successful then the UK Border Agency will consider how the service might benefit other education institutions that sponsor international students.