Private colleges to challenge UK visa laws

16 Aug 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Permission has been granted to private schools and colleges to challenge the government's rules regarding UK visas for students.

A judge awarded the Association of UK Private Schools and Colleges (AUPSC) permission to request a review from the high court of the plans to change the conditions of UK visas for students, which currently have the potential to reduce the number of overseas students.

Private colleges claim that the plans to change immigration for study are “disproportionate”, “arbitrary” and “severe”, according to recent reports in the Guardian. However, home secretary Theresa May has claimed that the proposals, which aim to close fake colleges, restrict employment opportunities for foreign students and block entry for those who cannot speak good English, are designed to restore “sanity” the the country's student visa system.

Earlier this year, Ms May stated that the government is keen to attract the “brightest and the best” to the country but to do so required reform of the UK immigration system.

The decision to allow the AUPSC to challenge the changes comes after reports from the Home Affairs Committee and the Scottish Affairs Committee suggested that the restrictions will have a disproportionate impact on Scotland.

Abuse of the current system was “largely insignificant” in the Scotland, according to MPs' reports. But by implementing these changes, the government is imposing a substantial risk on the Scottish economy due to its reliance on a large number of overseas students.