Chairman of Migration Watch UK
Conservativehome Blog, 22 November, 2014
The UK is one of the most attractive countries in the world to come to study. But if you listened only to Mark Field, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, you might be forgiven for being concerned about the future of British Higher Education.
Since the Government introduced their much needed reforms to the broken immigration system Mark Field has been regularly sounding his claxon (see, for example, his piece a week ago today on this site), no doubt lobbied by big business and the Universities in his constituency, to warn of dire effects on the education and business sector. Yet his arguments just do not add up.
To begin with, let’s dispel the myth that the Government has tightened up” on University students. They have done nothing of the sort. In fact, the reforms to the student visa system in 2012 were aimed at below degree level study, and Universities were left virtually untouched. So here are a few realities:
- There is no limit to the number of non-EU students that Universities can recruit.
- Non-EU students only require an offer of a full time place at a UK University and enough money to support themselves and pay for their course in order to be granted a visa.
- There is no requirement that University students meet certain English language competency thresholds since Universities are given the discretion to make these decisions themselves.
- University students can work up to 20 hours during term time and full time out of term time.
- University students can remain in the UK for an additional four months after they complete their studies in order to search for work or enjoy the rest of their summer.
- University students can switch into Tier 2 and stay in the UK for work in unlimited numbers so long as they can find a graduate level job paying a minimum of £20,500. Students are not subject to a resident labour market test and are not subject to the cap of 20,700 visas for those applying outside of the country.
To read the full article go to Migration Watch UK web site's Press Articles.