News Archive - December 2018

Are Student UK Visas Costing the Country Billions?

05 Dec 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

According to a recent study published by Universities UK, UK work permit restrictions aren't the only issue costing Britain money in the changing economy. According to the latest Universities UK study, the economy may have lost out on billions in export earnings from international students unable to get UK visas.

The analysis examined recent changes to student immigration UK policies, and transformations since 2012 when the government first removed the post-study work visa. Currently, the report suggests that the UK may have lost more than £8 billion in the period between 2013 and 2017.

Since the UK visas changed for students, international enrolments have dipped to a new low. In the year between 2016 and 2017, around 442,375 international students visited the UK to learn at local universities. Other countries, such as the US, Germany, Australia, and France have all seen a significantly higher growth rate for international students, drawing attention to the significant problems with the lack of an easily-accessible UK work permit after study.

In 2016 to 2017, the enrolment level of students to UK universities grew by only 0.5%, despite the unique educational opportunities that the country can offer. The Chief Executives of Universities in the UK commented on the immigration UK problem, saying that he expected Britain to be doing much better. In fact, Jarvis went as far as to call on the government of Theresa May to reshape the UK visas system.

Since 2011, before the post-study UK work permit was scrapped, countries around the world have seen a rapid growth in demand for international study. However, the UK enrolment rates have stayed flat. The UK needs to work harder to keep up with competitors according to Jarvis, which means deploying a reshaped immigration system that supports the benefits of international students.

Alistair Jarvis believes that the Immigration UK system could be doing more to show international students that they're welcome to learn and grow in the country. Failure to rework the immigration strategy for students could mean that the UK continues to miss out on billions of pounds each year.