Make Visa for international students remain – report advice

International students

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No ogbonge evidence dey say post-study visa for international students dey “abused”, report tok.

Di Migration Advisory Committee tok say di visa attract student to di UK and make e remain.

If dem scrap am, universities go lose money from international students fees and dem go need reduce courses, di MAC tok.

Di goment, wey request di review, tok say e dey consider di findings “very closely”.

Dem introduce tougher rules for international students dis year, wey dem tok say e aim to help “slash migration”.

Universities dey increasingly depend on international students, wey dey pay higher fees dan pipo from di UK.

And dem dey concern say further restrictions fit discourage applicants and leave universities witout funding.

Applicants to di visa no dey required to get work or earn salary to fit qualify for di visa, wey dem introduce in 2021 as part of plan to recruit di “brightest and best” students from around di world.

Last year, dem grant 114,000 graduate-route visas for international students and further 30,000 for dia dependants, di report tok.

Students and a teacher in a science lab

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Science and technology degrees would be at risk if the post-study visa were scrapped, according to the report

Prof Brian Bell, wey be di chair of MAC, tok say di route na “key” way of attracting international students and make e remain as e dey.

“Di fees wey dis students pay help universities to cover di loss dem dey make in teaching British students and doing research,” e tok.

“Witout dos students, many universities go need to reduce research wey dem go do.”

Courses wey cost di most to run, such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects, go become “less financially viable”, according to di report.

“Dis fit impact di availability of dis courses to domestic students,” e tok.

‘Skilled roles’

Di goment neva tok say dem dey consider scrapping di visa but Home Secretary James Cleverly ask di MAC to review weda e dey “abuse”.

Di MAC tok say widespread evidence no dey of dis.

Oga Cleverly also ask di MAC to look kain work wey dos on di graduate route dey go into, saying initial data suggest most of dose wey dey switch from di graduate visa to skilled-worker visa go into care work, wey no be “clearly wetin di goment intend”.

But di MAC tok say di data dey incorrect and about 20% go into care work.

About half di first lot of students to receive graduate visas don move on to skilled-work visas, “primarily into skilled roles”.

And di visa help di goment meet e own target of 600,000 students per year studying in di UK.

‘Serious mistake’

Uk Universities, wey represent more dan 140 institutions, welcome di report and call on di goment to confam di stay visa.

Di chief executive, Vivienne Stern, tok say “we dey understand di political pressure to reduce migration” but recent restrictions don already get “significant effect”.

International students no fit bring family members wit dem unless dem dey on research courses or get goment-funded scholarships, wey di report say e go reduce di number coming to study in di UK dis year.

“Going further go be serious mistake,” Ms Stern tok.

University of Greenwich vice-chancellor Prof Jane Harrington, wey chair di University Alliance, tok say di MAC dey “right to highlight di damage [di restrictions], and di freeze on home-student tuition fees, dey do to UK higher education”.

Di report also tok say concerns dey say agents wey dey recruit international students fit dey “mis-selling UK higher education”.

One interviewee tell di MAC dem don “lead am to believe” she go dey study for large city, only to find her university dey for remote location.

Di MAC recommend say make recruitment agents dey registered and universities required to publish how much dem go spend on dem.

But dis na“separate issue” from di graduate route.

Dr Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of di Russell Group, tok say international students dey “critical to di financial sustainability” of top universities and e support “targeted measures” to address “di behaviour of some agents”.

Di goment tok say e dey “committed to attracting di best and brightest to study at our world-class universities, while preventing abuse of our immigration system”.

E add: “We dey consider di review di findings veri closely and we will respond fully in due course.”

Chris Skidmore, di former MP and universities minister wey launch di goment international student target, tok say keeping di visa dey “undoubtedly di right way forward”.

Skidmore, wey dey chair di International Higher Education Commission, group of higher education experts, tok say “e neva clear di kind abuse wey dey take place”.