Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Earn your degree and then get out

It has been reported by the BBC here that student work visas for non-EU international students will be curtailed. The effect will be that students will not be permitted to seek work after completing their degrees (or at least without getting another visa). The move is aimed at forcing more students to leave the UK after completing their degrees so that the Tories can fulfil an election pledge to bring down the number of visas awarded.

This will surely come as more bad news for universities. Perhaps one attractive feature of paying to study at a British university (in addition to the degree) was the possibility of having a few months after graduation to find work, that might then lead to a more permanent work visa. Now higher university fees will be met with no post-graduation work opportunities generally for non-EU international students. Whether this will have an effect on international student recruitment awaits to be seen, but more reason to hold a review into the effects of proposed reforms before they are implemented without a thorough analysis later this week . . . . .

2 comments:

Matt said...

I'm not exactly sure what the courses of study that are "below degree level" in the UK are, and how much of a problem they are, but it is true that in the US dodgy non-degree study programs (mostly ESL, though there are others, too) that can qualify one for a student visa are a big source of visa over-stays. Whether this is a big enough problem that it should be a focus in the US or the UK, I don't know. The article seemed to focus more on these "below degree" students, but in the case of people who finish a degree, it's silly to want them to leave, as they can nearly always be expected to be net economic contributors and are often highly dynamic. As with most news articles I read on immigration I'm left wishing the reporter had known what to ask, as the article doesn't give the needed information, but at least as applied to those earning a degree the changes seem likely to be counter-productive, and it's hard to know whether there's a real problem with those pursuing "below degree" programs.

The Brooks Blog said...

The "below degree level" refers to programmes offering less than a BA. I don't know much about these programmes except that a great many of these students go on to university and significantly contribute to financing the higher ed system. There are then real concerns about big cuts in their numbers for all programmes, university and otherwise.