They boost the GDP, improve relationships with other countries
2nd February 2011: Give foreign students a fair share. They boost the GDP, improve relationships with other countries, and create thousands of thousands of jobs.
The voices in favour of the foreign students can be heard loud and clear, even as the eight-week national consultation on reform of the student route to the UK closed on 31 January.
It saw proposals being made to reduce the number of people coming to the UK to study at below degree level; and introducing a tougher English language requirement. In all, the consultation received more than 30,000 responses.
The proposals have drawn a sharp response from some members of the general public. In fact, some people are describing it as a move which will eventually destroy a growth industry which can not only boost the GDP, but also improve relationships with other countries.
Some people are rather arguing the UK should be encouraging foreign students to get their degrees here, rather than in the USA.
The other proposals are: ensuring students wishing to extend their studies show evidence of academic progression; limiting students’ entitlements to work and their ability to bring in dependants; and improving the accreditation process for education providers, alongside more rigorous inspections.
The results of the consultation will be announced in the coming weeks.
Soon after the public consultation came to a close, Immigration Minister Damian Green reiterated the Government’s plans to review student visas in a speech to the think tank Reform.
Speaking at a conference in London, Green focused particularly on the privately-funded further education sector, which is subject to less regulation and more open to abuse.
According to the UL Border Agency, Green also outlined how the agency will use this to further strengthen the student visa system and clamp down on abuses of the student route to the UK.
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’.