Students’ visa changes open a chapter of criticism

Vice-Chancellors, politicians, economists and even campaigners against the move

23rd March 2011:
The changes in the students’ visa system announced by the Government have evoked sharp criticism from varsity Vice-Chancellors, politicians, economists and even campaigners.

They have expressed apprehension that the restrictions on overseas students will adversely affect the UK’s economy.

They assert that the effect of the changes can be gauged from the fact that as per Home Secretary Theresa May’s own estimates the measures would lead to a fall in student visas of about 70 – 80,000.

Airing concerns, Bristol University VC Professor Eric Thomas said overseas students provide an important income stream for the university.

Responding to the developments, Chief Executive of Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) Habib Rahman said: “It’s in no one’s interest to have anything but bona fide colleges in the UK. However, these measures will discriminate against students from developing countries by subjecting them to different and more exacting requirements. They are also entirely at odds with the Government’s wider objective of stimulating growth through the private sector.’
The JCWI added: The restrictions on colleges, but also on degree level students bringing their dependants to the UK, will split families up and have an adverse affect on university applications, at a time that universities can scarcely afford to see yet further lowering in their revenue following the cuts.

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