26 November, 2010

Consultation on Tier 4 Student Visa in UK

The announced consultation on Tier 4 visas will be addressing ways of reducing the number of students coming to the UK whilst also continuing to attract the “top students to the top universities”. These include:

  • for adult students, focusing Tier 4 on higher level courses and those offered by Highly Trusted Sponsors
  • introducing tougher entry criteria such as English language competence
  • requiring evidence of academic progression for students extending their studies
  • limiting students’ entitlements to work and to sponsor dependants
  • improving the accreditation and inspection process for education providers
The Home Secretary draws attention to the issue that perhaps “people imagine students to be those who come here for a few years to study at university and then go home - that is not always the case”. Whilst the student immigration route remains high on the Home Office’s agenda it is questionable how much effect new restrictions will have.

Research published by the Home Office in September 2010 - The Migrant Journey - shows that, despite the high number of people entering the UK on Tier 4 visas, 79% of them had left the country within 5 years. Of the remaining 21%, 6% were still studying and 7% were in work. Less than 5% had been granted settlement.

The indication here is that whilst student visas may account for high numbers of people coming into the country they also account for many of the people leaving the country. The proposed measures under review in the consultation will no doubt be effective in reducing net migration, but will not address the question of migrants achieving settlement. The question of whether reducing the number of people settling in the UK seems to remain unasked for the time being. It will certainly be interesting to see how the the migrant journey looks in five years’ time.


Diamond R said...

i recieved a sms message from StudyinUk inviting me to visit uk education exhibition in Abu dhabi Mens on 27 sayang di ako nakapunta. Pero interesado ako sa mga offer na courses. baka pwede.

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