New foreign student work rules give Scotland a bad name, Home Office is told

No concession for foundation degrees north of the border 28 Feb 2010. Scottish Education Secretary Michael Russell has expressed dismay over restrictions the Home Office has introduced on international students’ work hours.

The new regime according to the Minister would affect the reputation of Scotland as a welcoming country.

According to the new rules regulating Tier 4 announced by Home Secretary Alan Johnson on 10 February, international students who wanted to embark on courses below degree level would only be able to work 10 hours a week, rather than 20. The regulations also include a work ban on the dependants of these students.

Mr. Johnson said that UK ministers had exempted foundation degrees in England from the restrictions, while failing to make a similar concession for the equivalent Higher National Certificate (HNC) and a Higher National Diploma (HND) courses north of the border.

Mr. Russell has responded to this with a letter addressed to the Home Secretary, stating: “If implemented the measures announced on February 10 would affect thousands of students in Scotland by restricting the working rights of those studying below degree level and restricting the rights of their dependants. I have serious concerns that the reputation of Scotland as a welcoming country will have been negatively affected.”

In 2009, there were nearly 5,000 international students enrolled on below degree level courses in Scotland.

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