28 January 2011

UK Student Visa plans condemned

High education bodies have attacked government plans to limit UK visas for international students, saying the move will have catastrophic effects on the industry.

UK Student Visa

Changes to the UK Student Visa system will be bad for the education sector, say experts.

The government is currently consulting on plans to cut the number of UK Student Visas for those studying below degree level and to raise English language requirements. The changes will affect students from outside the EU; around two-thirds of the 273,000 visas issued to students to come to the UK in 2009.

Universities argue that many international degree students are recruited from non-degree courses, on which they have improved their English. It is believed universities recruit nearly half of their international students from such courses.

Edward Action, Vice Chancellor of East Anglia University, said that if the language requirement was raised, "the catastrophic effects on universities will, for a period, actually make the home [tuition] fees matter slightly fade from the centre, so grave will it be".

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, said of the proposals: "They're damaging, they're dangerous and we are very opposed and very concerned about them."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  UK Visa applications to the British Embassy.  

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