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MPs warn that tougher student visa rules will damage Universities | Immigration Matters

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New rules on student visas could damage Scottish universities and the wider economy, a committee of MPs has said.

The BBC reports that the Scottish Affairs Committee has warned that tighter restrictions will have a disproportionate impact in Scotland.

The MPs claimed that abuse of the current system was “largely insignificant” in the Scottish context.

A report issued by the MPs calls on the government to adjust UK criteria to accommodate Scottish circumstances.

The UK government published its consultation paper on the student immigration system in December 2010.

It has said that it intends to reduce net migration to the UK from outwith the EU to “the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands”.

The MPs warned that Scottish circumstances were not adequately taken into account when proposals were drawn up.

Ian Davidson MP, chairman of the committee, said: “The university and higher education sector contributes nearly £500m in export income to Scotland.

“We accept the need to control immigration but believe the government should be more focused in its approach.

The select committee report has been welcomed by student representatives and the leaders of the Scottish universities.

Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, said: “While immigration is reserved to Westminster it’s important that UK-wide policies are developed with appropriate sensitivity to differences across the UK.

“We hope the UK government will give due consideration to the committee’s recommendation for more flexibility around a six-year Visa for students coming to Scotland, which is a proportionate concession due to Scotland’s longer degrees.”

In its evidence to MPs, the University of Strathclyde said international students contributed £188m directly to universities in Scotland, and a further £321m to the wider Scottish economy.

The select committee came to the view that many international students who studied at Scottish universities aimed to acquire skills which were in demand in Scotland.

In its hearings on the proposals, the committee heard evidence from Damian Green, the minister for immigration at the Home Office. 

He said he did not fully accept the view that immigration could address skills gaps in the UK.

Mr Green told them: “If your first response as an economy to having any kind of pressure is to bring in more people from around the world, one of the dangers is that you let employers off the hook of training.

“That is what has happened to a large extent, overall, in the UK labour market in the last 10 or 15 years.” SOurce: BBC.

International students contribute over £40 billion to the UK economy. The UK is the second most popular destination for international students, after the US, but it remains to see how long it will retain this position following the recent Tier 4 rule changes and the government’s pledge to slash the number of students and migrants coming into the country.

Competition between Universities and private providers for home students hots up

New Tier 4 student visa rules now in force

Wanted by UK Government – 1000 exceptionally talented migrants

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5 Responses to “MPs warn that tougher student visa rules will damage Universities”
Read them below or add one

  1. The UK Border Agency publishes full details of how much money is needed when applying for a Tier 4 Student Visa for the UK.

    Money needed
    The money that you need includes course fees and monthly living costs. The monthly living costs needed depends on where you are studying.

    If you have not studied in the UK recently
    Length of course Where will you study Money needed

    Nine months or less Inner London Full course fees


    £800 for each calendar month of the course

    Nine months or less Outside inner London Full course fees


    £600 for each calendar month of the course

    More than nine months Inner London First year of course fees


    £7,200 to cover living costs for nine months

    More than nine months Outside inner London First year of course fees


    £5,400 to cover living costs for nine months

  2. Visa requirements might not be the problem but it’s the indiscriminate way they’re being applied to non-EU students.Students are expected to be have sponsors with no less than 20.000 pounds on their accounts for no less tan 2 months prior to applying for the studnt visa, fully paid up tuition fees of 9.000pounds and fully paid up accommodation in the region of 3,500 and all the maitenance allowance in the region of 5,000pounds for the year on the students account – 37,000pounds in total! Really? short of just saying stay out which parent even in developed Britain or Europe has that sort of money lying around??? Interestingly, exchange students from britain are not required to have these amounts and it’s highly unlikely that they would.

    Let the Home Office call it what it likes but to us in non-EU countries it is racism / apatheid by another name!! Luckily, Malaysia, australia, Canada and India for techie courses are enjoying the boom in applications….

  3. […] MPs warn that tougher student visa rules will damage Universities […]

  4. […] MPs warn that tougher student visa rules will damage Universities […]

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