UK announces new visa plan, expected to attract international students.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has decided on some new visa plans to attract more international students.
International students, after completion of their courses in the UK universities, will now be given visa extension for a year to look for work.
However, the two-year post-study work visa won’t be revived.
The plan that was unveiled today is part of UK’s International Education Strategy.
Masters students to get 6 month post-study work visa
Masters students will be given six-month (currently four-month) post-study work visa to look for jobs, but PhD students’ post-study visa of one year remains unchanged.
The government is also aiming to boost education-related growth from £20bn (Rs. 1.8L crore) to £35bn per year (Rs. 3.2L crore) by 2030 post-Brexit.
UK’s Education Secretary, Damian Hinds and the International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, announced the strategy.
Not reviving two-year post-study work visa is a dampener
Though this is good news, not reviving the popular two-year post-study work visa is a dampener.
The two-year post-study work visa, popular with self-financing Indian students, was closed in 2012, which led to major drop in the number of Indian students applying to UK.
Janet Beer, VC, Liverpool University, said they would continue urging the government to extend it to two years.
‘Would like government to extend this opportunity t two years’
“We particularly welcome steps to improve the visa regime, including the extension of opportunities for our graduates to work in the UK. We’d like the government to go further and extend this opportunity to at least two years,” said Beer, the chair of Universities UK.
Why did the UK announce the new visa plan?
The announcement of the new visa plan can be seen as part of an advance post-Brexit preparation being taken by UK.
Brexit, a referendum which was passed by the UK to leave EU in June 2016, is due on March 29.
India among ‘potential growth region’ in UK’s strategy paper
Coming back to the strategy paper, it identified India as a high-value region among China and Latin America.
“There is a long and important history of Indian students coming to study in UK universities. We intend to drive further growth through a number of actions set out in this strategy. This complements our efforts to identify where we can improve visa process,” it said.
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