International students in the news


The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its report on the impact of international students in the UK in September 2018. Although the Government is yet to respond, MAC made the following key recommendations: 

  • there should remain no cap on the number of international students coming to the UK;
  • the Government and the sector should continue to work together to grow the number of international students;
  • international students should not be removed from the net migration target. This is a political target and the Government could summarise its ambitions on net migration in a different way;
  • rules of work while studying and dependant rights should remain unchanged;
  • PhD students should automatically be given one year’s leave to remain after completion of studies and this should be incorporated into their original visa;
  • the post-study leave period should be extended to six months for all master’s students assuming the pilot does not uncover any evidence that this would not be sensible; 
  • graduates of UK HEIs should also be eligible for the existing easier access to Tier 2 jobs after course completion regardless of whether they are in the UK. This benefit could perhaps be in place for two years after graduation. 

The full report can be accessed here

All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Students inquiry report - November 2018

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Students released its inquiry report on 6 November 2018 setting out the following eight recommendations for the Government:

  1. a clear and ambitious target should be set to grow international student numbers. The Government should then remove students from targets to reduce net migration to facilitate increasing numbers;
  2. a clearly labelled and attractive post-study work visa should be offered which allows up to two years of work experience in the UK;
  3. an EU deal for unrestricted movement of students and researchers should be pursued as part of a close relationship between European universities and research programmes;
  4. the immigration rules should facilitate and encourage students to study in the UK and at multiple study levels within the UK education system;
  5. the diversity of the UK education offering should be promoted and protected, including small, specialist, vocational and further education providers within the proposed recruitment strategy;
  6. the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration should conduct an independent review of credibility interviews within the student immigration system to ensure the system is fit for purpose;
  7. close work should be undertaken with devolved and regional governments to support growth in international student numbers, protect local courses and institutions which are dependent on international students, and support regional and national initiatives;
  8. data on education as an export and as an economic value should be tracked accurately, including at a national, regional and local level.



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