As the UK fights its way out of the Brexit quagmire, the Boris Johnson government has announced a good news for students going to Britain for studying with the reintroduction of the two-year post-study work visa, popular with the self-financing students.
The announcement will come into effect from 2020-21 academic year benefiting international students who will join educational institutes in the UK and complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any subject after which they will be able to stay for two years and take up any job.
The two-year post-study work visa was earlier scrapped by then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2012. The reintroduction of the programme is expected to boost the number of students going to Britain significantly.
Prime Minister Johnson announced the new visa route while launching a whole genome sequencing project, which cited as an example of the UK’s pioneering research and international collaboration, “Breakthroughs of this kind wouldn’t be possible without being open to the brightest and the best from across the globe to study and work in the UK.”
Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, the umbrella body of all UK universities, said “This is very positive news. Evidence shows that international students bring significant positive social outcomes to the UK as well as £26 billion in economic contributions, but for too long the lack of post-study work opportunities in the UK has put us at a competitive disadvantage in attracting those students.”
“The introduction of a two-year post-study work visa is something universities UK has long campaigned for and we strongly welcome this policy change, which will put us back where we belong as a first choice study destination. Not only will a wide range of employers now have access to talented graduates from around the world, these students hold lifelong links in the UK”.
“The new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement.
“This is fantastic news for Indian students, who will now be able to spend more time in the UK after completing their degree, allowing them to gain further skills and experience,” said Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India.
Indian students coming to study in the UK reached almost 22,000 in the year ending June 2019. This was a 42 per cent increase on the previous year, and almost 100 per cent higher than three years ago.
This announcement follows the creation of a new fast-track visa route for scientists and the removal of the limit on PhD students moving into the skilled work visa route, which collectively aim to cement the UK as a science superpower and a world leader in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector. Almost half of all Indian students (almost 130,000 since 2008-09) heading to the UK in the last ten years chose a STEM subject.