In an attempt to encourage more international students to study in the UK, many UK universities have made requests to the government for a ‘new immigration policy’.
The UK, particularly the city of London, is a popular destination for overseas students, but after the announcement of Brexit, the number of applications for international students who want to study in the UK has been on a steady decline. This is because many international students have the perception that they are not welcome and that UK residents have a hostile stance on immigration.
The universities have also urged the British government to release international students from its annual target of immigration cuts.
President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, Dame Julia Goodfellow told Press Trust of India:
“while the UK government continues to count international students as long-term migrants in its target to reduce migration, there is a continued pressure to reduce their numbers, which adds to the perception that they are not welcome in the UK”
Universities UK commissioned ComRes poll has also revealed that as much as 73% of the British public wanted international students to be able to come and study in the UK and that only the small minority of 23% of the British public view international students as immigrants when considering government immigration policy.
The latest Higher Education Statistics Agency, which is UK’s official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education, has revealed that India has in fact seen the biggest decrease in international students looking to study in the UK.
According to a recent study, there has been a decrease of 44% of students from India who would like to study in the UK, compared to 2011.
Universities UK, among many other focus groups, has requested that the UK government instates a new immigration policy for international students, who they believe should be treated differently than other immigrants.
Experts believe that a two-year-post-study work visa should be immediately reinstated in order to change the perception that the UK has a hostile immigration policy.