The British government is all set to extend the duration of post-study visas for international students up to one year, in a bid to facilitate international scholars to secure employments in UK. This plan is a part of the government’s initiative to boost an upsurge in the recruitment levels by more than 30 percent, with the aim to increase the income to the sector from the current £20 billion annually to £35 billion annually, per the announcement made by the government last week.
According to the department of education, students pursuing their undergrad or postgrad education in the UK will be able to stay in the country for six months, while the doctoral candidates for up to one year after the completion of their courses. All current graduates get to stay for up to 4 months after the postgrad, while the PhD candidates can also apply for an extra year.
The website also noted additional support will be given to international students for employment purposes, hinting a probable policy change which is a major hindrance for international students willing to work in the UK.
“The strategy includes a number of measures to help the sector maximise the potential of UK education exports abroad, including: extending the period of post-study leave for international student visas, considering how the visa process could be improved for applicants and supporting student employment,” the UK government website noted.
As Brexit looms, UK universities are expecting their financial funding’s to shrink. They will not only lose a lot of EU students after the Brexit but will also lose the European Research Development Fund which provides a substantial amount of funding to academic projects across the higher education institutes and providers in the country.
According to Vice-Chancellor Glasgow University and Chairman Russell Group, as a counterbalancing act, leading varsities in the UK were in the bid to recruit more non-EU students, particularly the ones hailing from India and China.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds in her official statement said: “As we prepare to leave the EU it is more important than ever to reach out to our global partners and maximise the potential of our best assets – that includes our education offer and the international students this attracts.”
The new UK International Education Strategy also includes the selection of a new ‘International Education Champion’ a funding challenge that aims to promote the UK education sector globally, generate best quality data on education exports and to foster closer relationships among the government departments.
Universities UK, the representative organisation of varsities in England, welcomed the visa extension decision, however, proposed a further extension in the time duration. “We would like the government to go further and extend this opportunity to at least two years and we will continue to urge them on this point.”