Tight visa restrictions are hurting UK universities
According to the UK national newspaper independent, a lot of universities in the United Kingdom have experienced a drop in student applications from outside the European Economic area.
The dropdown for some courses is as high as 30%. The reason for this is thought to be the recently increased visa restrictions for international students as well as an ongoing affair with the London Metropolitan University whose Highly Trusted sponsor status was revoked by the UK Border Agency.
The murder of the Indian student Anil Bidve in Manchester at Christmas 2011 seems to contribute for the falling attractiveness of UK universities among foreign students too.
Recently the United Kingdom Border Agency tightened the rules for foreign student visa applicants in an effort to crack down false Tier 4 student visa applications made by people, who intend to come to the UK to work rather than study.
New checks were introduced whose aim is to test whether their level of English is adequate in order to undertake university studies in Great Britain.
Furthermore, all international students are being notified that the number of hours that they can work part-time has been reduced.
According to Dr Wendy Piatt, who is Director-General of the Russel Group, an association of Britain’s’ leading research universities, the UK Immigration Minister should be very careful when deciding on new curbs for non-EEA students.
The UK education industry is one of the leading British exports. Many pieces of research show that it is worth around 2,5 billion pounds yearly.
Therefore, it is very important that new restrictions are designed in such a way so that the UK education industry is not damaged.