Post-Study Visa Changes Could Bring More International Students To UK
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Survey Reveals Post-Study Visa Changes Could Bring More International Students To UK

Ella Kipling June 5, 2022

A new survey by the education analysts QS reveals that two thirds of international students would be more likely to consider studying in the UK if the post-study work visa was extended. 

In 2012, the two-year visa was revoked by Theresa May, but it was reinstated in July last year by the government after years of pressure from UK universities. This means foreign students are able to stay and work in the UK for two years after finishing their courses. 

The QS survey of more than 100,000 international students suggests that less than a fifth of students would plan to stay in the UK beyond the three years. Universities argued that removing the visa had a detrimental effect on international recruitment, and, since the visa was reinstated, unis said they have been able to reach a recruitment target of 600,000 international students a year a decade early.

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Stimulate growth

The report urges the government to help ‘stimulate further growth in the sector after the pandemic and position post-Brexit Britain as an equally welcoming destination for international students as its key competitors,’ by reviewing policy and restrictions. 

However, a Home Office spokesperson told The Guardian that ‘those on the graduate route can stay in the UK and look for work at any skill level for a period of two years, or three years for those with a PhD, and switch into skilled work routes if they find a suitable job.’

In Australia, international graduates are offered a post-study work visa of up to four years, depending on their course and level of study. This has proven to be effective, as in 2018, Australia overtook the UK as the second most popular destination for international students after the US.

The Home Office spokesperson argued that post-study work offers across countries were not ‘directly comparable and we think ours strikes the right balance.’

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Ella Kipling is an Entertainment and News Writer at GRV Media. She regularly writes a mixture of news and features for HITC and has been part of the team since 2020. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) in English Literature, Ella is currently studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism at City University. She has a keen interest in current affairs and can usually be found reading the news, with her nose in a book (and updating her Goodreads), talking about women’s rights, or listening to Showtunes.