UK’s decision to slash foreign students’ number a reaction in panic

Students’ influx generates about £8.5bn for the UK economy

8th February 2010:
The UK Government’s announcement to slash the number of foreign students getting visas to study in Britain has come under censure, with critics blaming the authorities concerned for panicking.

As of now, students from across the world come to the UK each year to study, an influx that generates about £8.5bn for the UK economy.
The new rules demand the applicants to have ability to speak passable English. Besides this, the rules ban those enrolling for short courses to bring dependants.
Even though the UK Border Agency has not to come out with estimates on foreign students coming to Britain, it is believed the visa crackdown will result in reduction by tens of thousands.

The new rules follow a review in the wake of the failed Detroit plane bombing attempt at Christmas, in which a 23-year-old Nigerian suspected to be al Qaeda agent allegedly tried to blow up the transatlantic flight with 289 people on board. He had studied at University College London.

The visa arrangements came under criticism ever since the "points-based" system was introduced a year ago. It requires students to secure 40 points to come to the UK. Out of the total, the applicants are given 30 points for having a course offer from a college or university. Another 10 points are provided, if they can pay the fees and support themselves, while in the country.

But the system came under fire for allegedly allowing terrorist suspects and would-be immigrants to gain entry into Britain and to stay on despite their visas being temporary, resulting in the new rules.

The critics and the academicians assert Britain is a popular choice for foreign students seeking further or higher education qualifications. They add the students contribute to the UK economy. The full fees they pay are especially welcome in Scotland, where top-up fees from home-based students, an extra source of income, have been resisted.

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