Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

UK ministers reject calls for changes to post-study work visa system for international students in Scotland

Post Thumbnail

The UK Government has rejected calls for a more flexible post-study work visa system for international students in Scotland.

A House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry concluded in February that the removal in 2012 of a scheme that allowed overseas graduates to work for two years after completing their studies had made Scotland a less attractive destination to study.

The committee’s report cited an 80% drop in non-EU students remaining in the UK after graduating and said change was necessary to address demographic challenges north of the border and fill skills gaps in areas including health and finance.

In a response published by Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill, the UK Government said the four current visa categories available to non-European Economic Area (EEA) graduates of UK universities “comprise an excellent post-study work offer”.

The government said the previous system had been subject to “widespread abuse” which had “damaged the reputation of our education system”.

“This was supported by evidence that the availability of the tier 1 (post study work) category gave rise to a cohort of migrants who, to a significant degree, were unemployed or engaged in unskilled work and was likely to seek to abuse the immigration system in order to prolong their stay,” it said.

The Government also noted that visa applications from international students to study at Scottish universities had increased by 10% since 2010.

“Applying different immigration rules to different parts of the UK would complicate the immigration system, harming its integrity, and cause difficulties for employers with a presence in more than one part of the UK,” it concluded.

“We have taken important steps to reform the student migration system and we have no plans to re-introduce a post-study work scheme that does not lead to skilled work and could reintroduce many or all of the issues we saw under the former tier 1 (post study work) category.”

A pilot is taking place at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London to simplify the visa application process for Masters students and grant them an additional six months leave to remain after the end of the course to find a graduate job under Tier 2 visa rules.

The government said: “The institutions taking part in the pilot were chosen due to their consistently low level of visa refusals.

“Should the pilot be a success, the Home Office will be considering expansion of the pilot further, including to highly-compliant institutions in Scotland.”

SNP MP Pete Wishart, who chairs the Scottish Affairs Committee, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the response.

He said: “Despite the almost universal support for improving post-study work schemes in Scotland, we are still to see these factors have any influence on the direction of policy.

“We reiterate our call for the UK Government to engage constructively with Scottish higher education institutions on this issue. The Government must also speak to employers about the struggles they have in recruiting for key sectors.

“They must work with their Scottish counterparts to explore formal schemes that would allow those who come here to study to stay and contribute to the economy.

“The calls from Scotland are overwhelming, it is time for the UK Government to listen.”


READ MORE

Foreign students aren’t viewed as immigrants by most Brits, according to survey

Lindsay Razaq: Let’s end the immigration blame game