UK visa rules for students give 'unwelcoming' impression

31 Jul 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Higher education experts have suggested that the UK visa rules and regulations for students are giving an unwelcoming impression of Britain.

This week the Government confirmed that educational institutions will lose their highly trusted sponsor status if ten per cent of students recruited by the college or university are refused UK visas. The new threshold – dropped from the current level of 20 per cent - will come in to force in November this year.

Commenting on the changes in the Telegraph, Prime Minister David Cameron stated that they intend to ensure that colleges "do proper checks on students". However, Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, suggested that the changes and the comments on the adjustments by members of Government, are creating a negative opinion of Britain overseas.

Mr Hillman told the paper: "Sadly, I think it is yet more evidence that the Home Office is more interested in headlines than working co-operatively with the university sector to resolve any genuine problems that exist.

"It is bound to encourage the idea that the UK does not welcome international students yet further."

He added that it is worth noting the lack of "sensible liberalisation" that could be applied in conjunction with the crackdown "like removing genuine students from the net migration target, which has been called for by half a dozen cross-party select committees".

The news comes the week after Glyndwr University announced that its deadline to respond to allegations of UK visa fraud in its institution had been extended. Following the extension, the institution has now confirmed that it has sent its response to the Government regarding the investigation into the claims that nearly 50,000 of its students may have obtained certificates in English despite not being able to master the language to the required levels.