Students feel Turned Off by Changes in UK Student Visa Rules
UK announces end of post-study work visa from April 2012.
The government of United Kingdom has another headache up their sleeve as they initiate changes in student visa rules. Even as most British universities have publicly expressed reservations on the proposed changes in visa rules fearing that the new rules would not only seriously damage their reputation in the long term but would also make them witness a substantial drop of applicants in the short to medium term, the government is leaving no stone unturned as it walks on the path of visa and immigration reforms.
So far the opinion is divided over UK’s Home Office has announcement to end post-study work visa from April 2012 as part of the David Cameron government's efforts to reduce immigration, the student community from India has expressed their disappointment with significant drop in the number of applications to study in the United Kingdom across various courses.
Change in Student Visa Rules: One of the most significant changes in UK visa rules is the complete closure of the post-study work visa with effect from April 2012. Post study work visa allowed students from non-EU countries to work for two years in the UK after completion of their courses. Since most Indian and South Asian students are either self-financed or take up loans to finance their education, the post study work visa was an effective and attractive tool which enabled students to recover their study costs in the United Kingdom.
Even though there have been reports in the past on some amount of disparity for foreign students when it comes to finding work post-study, given the low growth rate and increasing joblessness prospects in the UK, most foreign students actually ended up taking small time jobs even after procuring specialist degrees.
Fall Out Of New Visa Rules: Representatives of most British Universities have expressed unhappiness and concern over the new Visa rules, which would not only cut their application of foreign student but can seriously damaged the international competitiveness of their higher education sector in the long run. According to local media reports, with the announcement of changed student visa regime, there is already a decline of around 20 and 30 % in applicant numbers from the Indian subcontinent for British Universities.
Divided Opinion: Most educational sector experts believe that the government of UK cannot afford to make costly mistakes by decreasing the number of foreign students because of visa changes as they have been counter productive in the past in countries like USA and Australia to the extent that those countries had to go back to their earlier rules.
UK Immigration minister, Damian Green, on the other hand has ruled out any relaxation to the April 2012 deadline to stop post study work visas and has expressed satisfaction that the changes made have been in accordance with the long term visa policy reforms of the James Cameron government to prevent visa abuse.