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Mayor of London calls for new post-study work visa

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has proposed a new post-study work visa for international students, criticising the changes made to the UK visa system by PM Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.

Photo: Mayor of London's Press Office

90% of Indian students now apply to the UK’s universities - rather than FE colleges

The proposals are part of his calls for a fair and flexible immigration system that he claims would attract talent from the world to come to London with “fewer barriers and less red tape”, and were made during a visit to Pakistan and India.

“[The government] is in danger of starving my city of great talent”

He said he wants to make it easier for students to be able to remain in the UK after graduation and work, following the Government’s decision to close the previous Tier 1 post-study work route.

“The British prime minister, Theresa May got it badly wrong with her decision to close this route a few years ago,” Khan told an audience of senior Indian business leaders in Mumbai.

“It’s not only led to a substantial drop in Indian students coming to our universities, it’s in danger of starving my city of great talent.”

Earlier this year, The PIE News reported that Indian student enrolments in the UK had plummeted 44% between 2011/12 and to 2015/16, from 29,900 to 16,745, according to figures from HESA.

Khan is currently on a trade mission to India and Pakistan to foster and forge relationships, while promoting his #LondonIsOpen campaign.

A Home Office spokesperson told The PIE News that the British government wants to deter fraudulent visa applications, which was widespread under the former post-study work visas.

“The Government recognises how important our immigration system is in ensuring that the UK is a place where talent thrives, and we are committed to creating an immigration system which best serves the people and businesses of the UK. 

“Any post-study provisions must strike a careful balance between providing competitive options for the brightest graduates from around the globe to remain in the UK to work, whilst maintaining safeguards against the type of widespread abuse that was seen under former post-study work schemes.”

Reforms made to Tier 4 since 2010, including the closure of 900 bogus colleges, has led to a shift in the British institutions where Indian students study.

Around 90% of Indian students now apply to the UK’s universities – rather than further education colleges or other types of institution – compared to 50% in 2010, according to Home Office figures.

The mayor is one of a number of high-profile individuals who have called for more post-study work visas.

Vivienne Stern director of Universities UK International spoke of their importance following Brexit and David Willetts voiced support the liberalisation of post-study visas in an interview with The PIE News last week.

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7 Responses to Mayor of London calls for new post-study work visa

  1. Another big lie, by the Tories- this Govt saying there’s “widespread abuse that was seen under former post-study work schemes.” is a lie and they know it, just as they lied, students over stay there visa in the hundreds, which we all know now is not true. Immigration would always be a sensitive issue in the UK, but seeing how the government misinform the British public and always make out international students to be some kind of enemy of the state,always looking for ways to cheat, and abuse the British system, it’s just disgusting. I studied in the UK, got my PS work visa for 2 years, but left the UK under one year when I couldn’t find graduate job, to gain added international work experience. Thats why international student wish to work in the UK, gain experience that’s an add on and give further value to the British degree received which by the way is very costly and you pay all your way through, nothing is subsided for international students outside of the UK. So the UK home office should stop the lies already. The US, Canada, Australia etc all have some form of post study work visa for international students, how come its only in the UK its being abused?. The UK HE sector will do it self a lot of good, if it’s work and lobby this and future government to put in place a sustainable post study visa program, UK would certainly raise to the number study destination for most markets from Asia to Africa, North America etc.

  2. I completed my masters in the UK with the purpose of applying for PSW. College (LSBF) and the UKBA cheated because some of them got the visa by the letter of college’s head but I raised the issue and send emails but it was just wasting time in the end. Now I am in my home country for four years but still could’t find a job for the qualification gained. I am really disappointed because I went to UK to study and get the PSW to make a proper career path but finally I lost my previous job and it has created lots of issues in my family. So now am working as a labour and still applying for job for the jobs

  3. How about closing all the doors of British institutions propaganda in India till the post study visa is provided to the students

  4. Completely the support the Mayor’ view. The PSW should be re established atleast for STEM students for 24 months so that they get adequate exposure in UK. After all they are privately funded students who adds up to the British’s brain base without a penny of Loan to the British exchequer.

  5. Students who study in Canada have better options. UK education is good but very expensive and on top of that, no post study work. It is their economy that will suffer for it. I advise students to try other countries like Canada and Australia that are more student friendly.

  6. Please welcome International students,the UK. We want to boost the UK’s economy. We also want to have experience, please reintroduce Post-Study-Work-Visa.

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