Tough new UK visa rules should not put off overseas students from applying to study in Britain, the vice chancellor of Oxford University has stated.
Andrew Hamilton warned the government that its decision to scrap the post-study work permit may deter foreign students from enrolling in universities. While this is a loss for the students themselves, it could also damage the UK economy, which gains around £9 billion for non-EU students.
But Mr Hamilton advised prospective students that Britain still has some of the best educational facilities in the world and encouraged them to still make an attempt to apply for places despite the removal of the post-study visa.
In an interview with the BBC Asian Network, postgraduate law student and president of the Oxford Indian Society, Arghya Sengupta, showed a broad agreement with Mr Hamilton: "Given the fact that one of the major incentives is the opportunity of getting work for at least some period of time, I think that the post-study work visa being banned as a blanket rule perhaps may be slightly too drastic."
Around 70,000 fewer student visas will be issued over a year once the changes have all come into force, according to government estimates. The move is part of a broader scheme by the coalition to cut down on immigrants in other areas of society and has been preceded by cuts to the numbers of work permits on offer, as well as tougher regulations and requirements for individuals looking to enter through the family route.