More people will have the right to study short courses in the UK because of changes in visa regulations which came into force at the start of this month.
People coming to the UK from outside the EU and Switzerland on general, family or business visitor visas are now permitted to take English language courses of up to 30 days while in Britain. The new regulations are expected to boost the income of universities, business schools and language schools which had previously turned away applicants because of the visa rules, according to the Professionals in International Education (PIE) website.
It said potential business of up to £9m a year had been lost because of the previous rules. Research by the English UK education network found members had been forced to refuse between 10 per cent and 70 per cent of business because of the previous visa requirements.
The report quoted one education establishment which said that overseas visitors had been left ‘disgruntled’ because they could not understand why they were not allowed to study when they had UK visas. Another university had been unable to accept around 1,000 students who were in the UK on business visas sponsored by employers.
Under the new regulations, establishments providing short business courses for people visiting on business visas also look likely to benefit.
Earlier this week, Chancellor George Osborne also announced a relaxation in the visitor visa and work permit rules for Chinese nationals who want to come to the UK, as part of efforts to boost trade links.