19 March 2012

Oxford University Vice Chancellor criticises UK visa changes

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Oxford University's vice chancellor claims that new stringent restrictions placed on students applying for a UK visa will make it harder for British universities to attract high calibre students.

UK visa

While Oxford's appeal might withstand stringent visa measures, many are concerned other universities won't.

Speaking before a weeklong trip to India, Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton said Oxford University was working alongside several other universities to ensure the new UK visa restrictions would not impact the industry.

"We have communicated to the Government our concerns that the proposed changes will make it harder for us to attract the best students in the world to Oxford," said Mr Hamilton.

"We have lobbied extensively ourselves and supported both Universities-UK and the Russell Group making representations to government over the changes."

Mr Hamilton's trip is intended to recruit post-graduate Indian students to Oxford but feels that the university will need to rely on the lure of an Oxford degree to study at the oldest university in the English speaking world.

"Whatever happens, we will try to make sure that students can take advantage of the new route in Tier 2 [work permit] to stay on and work where appropriate. Above all we know that an Oxford degree is highly regarded by employers all over the world, so is excellent preparation for a career wherever out students choose to work."

The Government is trying to tackle UK immigration and bring the annual figures down but as international students typically pay as much as three times more in tuition fees than domestic students, the education industry is heavily dependent on the £9 billion to the British economy that international students contribute each year.

Under the Government's proposed changes, international students have to secure a job earning at least £20,000 to remain in the country after they graduate or return home.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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