The University of Bristol has been chosen to take part in a pilot scheme which aims to ensure the UK visa application process is as streamlined as possible for taught postgraduate students looking to gain a place on a course of up to 13 months.
The university will join a number of other institutions in the pilot scheme including Oxford University, Cambridge University, Bath University and Imperial College London, all of which have a low refusal rate.
According to the Home Office, the number of students applying for UK visas has increased by eight per cent in the past 12 months, with a nine per cent increase demonstrated for those applying to universities in the Russell Group.
As part of the pilot, which will be applied to those seeking places in 2018/19, universities will be made responsible for ensuring the eligibility of students applying for UK visas. This will reduce the number of forms the students need when they apply for their Tier 4 visa.
Furthermore, the pilot will help students to move from studying to working by extending the period of leave after their course by up to six months. It is hoped that this time will provide the students with additional time to gain work experience before they take on a more permanent role in the UK.
Commenting on the scheme, UK immigration minister Brandon Lewis said: “I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.”
He added: “The UK continues to be the second most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24 per cent since 2010.”