UK policies ‘putting off overseas students’, says Indian graduate

08 Feb 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK is giving off the impression it is ‘hostile’ to foreigners, which is putting off overseas students from applying for UK visas to study in Britain, an Indian graduate has claimed.

Maulin Buch studied a Master’s degree at Glasgow University and now works as a business development executive in North Lanarkshire. But he fears he may have to leave the UK if further restrictions are introduced on visas and he does not meet the salary threshold.

Mr Buch was able to secure a job in the UK because of the post-study visa which has now been scrapped. He said that if the route to work in Britain had not been available, he would have chosen to study in another country.

Since the removal of the post study work visa in 2012, international students now have to find a graduate job paying a minimum of £20,800 annually in order to remain in the UK. However, further changes to the system mean the salary level requirement could rise to £30,000.

Mr Buch told The Herald: “It's almost impossible for a small or medium enterprise to meet the thresholds that are being recommended. My employer had to increase my wage to meet the threshold but fortunately they had enough faith in me to do that. Today, with the thresholds in place my employer can simply not afford to keep me on.”

The Scottish Government is keen to introduce its own post study work visas for overseas students opting to study at Scottish universities. There are concerns that the crackdown on international student numbers is costing the Scottish economy dearly, and it is losing potential students to other countries with more positive attitudes towards immigration.

Supporters of the plan argue that it would bring money into Scotland’s education sector, and help to boost both skills in the workforce.