Restricting entrance of overseas students to UK varsities ‘is madness’: Experts

February 28th, 2011 - 5:04 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb.28 (ANI): Moves to tighten restrictions on overseas students will risk nearly 12,000 jobs in education and another 12,000 in the wider economy, a study of five colleges that help prepare international students for British university life has found.

The Government’s proposals, part of efforts to fulfill its pledge to reduce net migration from 200,000 to the tens of thousands by 2015, also put the five so-called ‘pathway provider’ colleges’ annual one billion pound contribution to the UK economy, and two billion pounds from the pathway sector as a whole, at risk, the Telegraph quoted the CentreForum thinktank, as saying in its report.

Chris Nicholson, the group’s director and chief executive, said: ‘The Government’s current proposals are destructive and shortsighted.

‘These students provide an immense financial, cultural and academic contribution to Britain’s universities. It is economic madness crudely to restrict student numbers in this haphazard way,’ he added.

Under the proposals, students from outside the European Union (EU) will face tougher tests of their mastery of the English language before being granted a visa.

Nicholson added: ‘It is right to crack down on bogus colleges but simplistically hiking the English language requirement prevents British universities from attracting some of the very best international students - especially those studying maths, engineering and the sciences.’

He called for the Government to adopt a ’smarter approach’ by streamlining the accreditation system for college, improving border controls and requiring visa applicants to pay a ’substantial deposit’ to show their commitment to study.

Two thirds of the non-EU migrants who enter the UK come on student visas, figures show.

The Government has said that these students should be stopped from seamlessly moving into work in order to give British graduates the best chance of finding a job.

Plans to reform the current system that allows non-EU students to work in the UK for up to two years after completing their studies will be part of the Government’s crackdown.

Graduate unemployment hit its highest level for more than a decade in January, with a fifth out of work.

The proposals will also mean tens of thousands of students from outside the EU will be forced to go home after finishing their studies. (ANI)

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