Visa proposals condemned

first_imgHome Office proposals which would make entering and staying in the UK more difficult for foreign students and their dependents have been declared “disastrous” by leaders in the Higher Education sector. The changes, which would affect the many international students at Oxford, were highlighted last week by Cherwell.A report by the UK Border Agency has suggested closing the popular two-year post-study work visa, limiting international students’ ability to work in term time.Dominic Scott, Chief Executive for the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), called the proposals “probably the most radical proposals for a decade, if not a generation.”Major higher education and international education sector stakeholders have come together this week to object to the government’s proposed changes to the international student visa system ahead of the end of the consultation period on Monday.Tony Millins, Chief Executive of English UK, commented, “This is a cross-sectoral initiative and the fact that we have come together indicates very strongly how importantly we see this issue. “In a week that began with the shock economic news that Britain’s economy contracted by half a per cent in the final quarter of last year … I think we need to concentrate on the growth aspects of international education.”Aaron Porter, President of the NUS, said, “I think it would be an absolute travesty at a time when universities and students are facing unprecedented challenges for an additional, unnecessary and indeed economically counter-productive challenge to be thrown into the mix. “It wouldn’t just be international students that would lose out from the opportunity of studying in this country, it would lead to a worsening of the experience for all students, both home and international.”Oxford University has echoed the sentiments expressed by Porter, commenting, “both the UK and the economy will undoubtedly lose some of the best international students, as well as some incredibly skilled people, because of these changes.”last_img

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