UK visa sponsors cut

02 Nov 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A substantial number of education providers will no long be able to sponsor overseas students for UK visas following a cull by the government.

Over 450 establishments will be affected by the changes, which will prevent the colleges and universities concerned from sponsoring any new international students.

The changes are part of a wider crackdown on UK immigration implemented by the coalition government. These latest measures could see a reduction in overseas coming to Britain of as much as 11,000.

However, only certain establishments have been targeted; specifically those that do not meet the higher standards introduced by the UK Border Agency. It is hoped that this will reduce the levels of abuse within the system and ensure that genuine international students receive the highest quality education.

But since these plans first came under discussion, several organisations have suggested that the government has failed to consider the economic impact of reducing the number of students coming to the UK. As a result, the real impact of these changes remains to be seen.

Damian Green, UK immigration minister, remains positive about the new system, noting that widespread abuse of the UK student visa system has “gone on for too long”.

He added: “'Too many institutions were offering international students an immigration service rather than an education and too many students have come to the UK with the aim of getting work and bringing over family members. Only first-class education providers should be given licences to sponsor international students.”