UK immigration rules prompt campus closures

30 Aug 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Changes to UK immigration rules brought in by the coalition government have resulted in the closure of some university campuses.

According to the New York Times, even international universities are being affected. Schiller International University, based in Florida, did have a campus in London. However, the paper discovered that its autumn semester will not be taking place this year and the campus will shortly be closed.

William Moore, executive vice-president of the establishment, told the paper: "The decision to close our London campus was directly related to the new UK immigration rules."

The vast majority (between 80 and 85 per cent) of the students were from countries outside of the European Union, meaning they would be required to obtain UK visas before moving to the country. Since the government changed the UK immigration laws, this is no substantially harder, especially for students who will need to find paid employment while studying.

Meanwhile, Gina Hobson, chief executive of the British Accreditation Council – an independent accreditation body for independent colleges – told the New York Times that the council is "aware of a couple of other institutions that have decided that it's no longer longer viable to run".

The government had hoped that the introduction of the new UK visa regime for students would tackle the perceived widespread abuse of the system, which saw a number of people using it as a path for entry to the UK when they had no intention of attending an educational establishment.

However, reports have since emerged suggesting that the country's economy will suffer from the loss of financial stimulus previously brought in by overseas students.