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UK: Just 6% of prospective international students aware of PSW extension

A survey from higher education think tank QS has revealed just 6% of prospective international students considering studying in the UK are aware that they can stay in the country and work for two years after graduating.

QSThe majority of prospective international students are unaware of post-study work right policy in the UK. Photo: Mary R Smith/Pixabay

48% thought the length of post-study work rights was between zero and four months

Almost half (48%) of the students surveyed thought the length of post-study work rights was between zero and four months, while 25% believed it was between five and 12 months. Around 17% admitted they didn’t know.

“Overall awareness of the visa extension among international students remains very low”

“The UK government’s decision last autumn to extend the post-study work visa for international students, from four months to two years, was a welcome first step,” said Nunzio Quacquarelli, chief executive at QS.

“However, our research shows that overall awareness of the visa extension among international students remains very low. To ensure that Britain remains a top destination for international students, the UK will need to communicate this more effectively with priority student markets moving forward.”

UKCISA chief executive Anne Marie Graham further added that she was unsurprised at “the disparity in awareness about the post-study work route”, noting UKCISA had been receiving enquiries about it.

“The latest Home Office guidance for Tier-4 visa holders and sponsors does provide assurances about the introduction of the graduate route, but this survey demonstrates that we urgently need more clarity in the official communications about the UK’s post-study work offer, especially in light of the Covid-19 crisis,” she added.

Strangely and despite this apparent lack of awareness of post-study work rights, which suggests working in the UK after graduating is not a huge factor for these students at the point of application, 60% also said they would be more likely to study in the UK if the length of the post-study work visa was extended from two years to three.

QS surveyed 78,000 students globally, of which 33,000 expressed an interest in the UK as a study destination.

However, due to the current coronavirus situation, the proportion of students changing their UK study plans has risen from 27% in mid-February to 58% in late March.

Just over half plan to defer their entry until 2021 if they are unable to start their studies this year. The reasons they gave for this include cancelled exams, travel restrictions, and fear that they would be paying “thousands to only get online tuition”.

“With Covid-19 travel bans and social distancing measures in place, university finances and student recruitment strategies are adjusting to painful new realities,” said Jo Johnson, chairman of ApplyBoard and former UK minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation.

“To thrive in the new landscape, higher education institutions will need to rely more heavily on international student recruitment through a completely digital process. Governments can help by acting quickly to ensure that the value proposition of studying abroad does not diminish due to travel restrictions.”

However, not all international students are keen on online degrees. Four out of 10 said they “have no interest at all in studying their degree online”, despite institutions quickly developing online provision for next year.

“Surveys of future behaviour have, in the past, proven a poor guide on what students actually come to do”

“Universities are doing a lot behind the scenes to ensure any online learning that needs to occur in the next academic year is smoother than the measures that were put in place in a rush when Covid-19 hit a few weeks ago,” said HEPI director Nick Hillman.

“They know many students want a full experience on campus but, while that is not possible, they will continue striving to replicate online the best features of face-to-face learning.”

“But all is far from lost. Surveys of future behaviour have, in the past, proven a poor guide on what students actually come to do,” Hillman continued.

“If we all plan ahead sensibly for the next academic year, if universities communicate effectively and often with potential learners and if the government does all it can to ensure the UK looks – and is – a welcoming place, then people will still want to come and study here.”

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20 Responses to UK: Just 6% of prospective international students aware of PSW extension

  1. Not surprised by the results of the survey as Govt. effort to promote the objective has been very poor and over confidently incorrect. It would be wise if home office immediately take steps to capture the talents who have recently or would be passing before summer 2021 too.

  2. I totally agreed to the statement enclosed that only 6%of international student are aware of PSW. Although the Prime Minister Boris Johnson initiated that we opened for PSW in UK, to look after a new talents after your education that country can occupied with your effords in ahead. But the GOVT and UKVI is failed largely to take this message into universities and the students. As the international students admissions are downfall by 58% in these pandemic, I would prefer having a PSW to the students who have graduated from 2020 to propionate the country’s income by their tax and also we can find more students who have highly skilled to situate the circumstances set back/boost up the financials of UK with employment.

  3. In from Cameroon and most visa re year a are rejected. Even for those whoa are capable of paying full tuition fees. There are still rejections. I am a recruiter and I have face many rejections in the past

  4. International students are NOT in any good position for jobs nor uni experience under the current situation, gov should consider any alternatives to benefits or compensate those who affected.

  5. Post study is a good Idea.Instead of them postponing it till September 2021,why dont they start now?.That would be a good drive and for people to believe in the post study.Is only in uk people spend fortune and they are asked to go back to their country without given them work experience or get them into labour market after sacrificing money,energy and time.Countries like Canada,Australia and America have already outsmart uk which means they need to act fast.If you check YouTube,you will find alot of videos discouraging people from studying in the uk because uk has notting to offer after you are done with your studies.The reason why the publicity is 6% is because it has not materialised,action speaks louder than voice.If it materialise today,people.will.prefer uk because they have a better weather canada and Australia and they are closer to Africa and Indians that study internationally majorly.

  6. Although it has been ‘announced’, the route had not been officially/legally defined; hence the use of words ‘can’ and ‘may’ on University websites. Moreover post study work timeline do not count towards ILR; thereby confirming the fact that it is merely a tactic to get more students, rather than retaining the talent

  7. What about those students who have successfully completed thier study in the current year and who had taken admission in September 2018 and whose Visas are expiring on 31-05-2020 ? . These students did not get extended work Visas for two years as per Brexit rules. My son has joined st completed Masters in Culinary Arts from UCB and is held up at Birmingham due to Covid19. Can you suggest any remedies. He is associated with Novatel at present. Although all students are safe.

  8. The UK universities charge the international students extremely high fees as compared to home students and on top of that won’t allow the students to work more than 20 hours. Furthermore, you pay for your health insurance, high visa application fees and you’re not allowed to apply for psw if you’re finishing in 2020. I mean give us a break mate! Why should the international students come to the UK and not go to other cheaper destinations in the EU and the rest of the world, if you keep squeezing them out of the last penny they have in their pockets? I suggest everyone to think about it. This concept of studying in the UK is prevailing because The International students give it a preference. A collective effort to demand more rights would make them think about compensating the international students in a much better way. The money that you pay is the real driving force. Ask for further rights to get a better value for your money. Regards!

  9. Everything about UK education is transactional, at the end of your studies, what you go home with is a piece of very expensive paper, no work experience and what have you, the immigration system in the UK towards International Students is pure fraud and UK government sees International students as unintelligent people and cash cows.

  10. I have accepted to study my Masters in 2020/2021 but am closely regarding the news because the main reason I would like to study in the UK is to be in the UK. An online education is zero interest to me and not only am I faced with the decision to defer or not, I am counting on the PSW to be ready in time. The PSW is the other key factor for myself studying in the UK. I am in my 30’s and have been waiting to get my Masters for an opportunity like the PSW. I realized before that paying so much for an international education with very little chance of gaining employment afterwards was not worth it for me. I am hoping the PSW will stay on track for the 20/21 graduates (that is, if we are even available to study due to Covid-19.) There’s been a bit of silence on the PSW lately, so I’m thankful for this post to let me know it has not been forgotten since people like myself are highly dependable on it.

  11. I will finish my study sep 2020 . Is am eligible for psw extension. Please can you tell me regarding this

  12. I was trying to get admission in UK but one of my British friend he advised me not to come as they are under the pressure of high taxes which make them survive from Hand to mouth? Is is true? Should I still apply for Uk? Or i should try Germany or Norway? is my email or whats app me ypur suggestion at +923077617610
    I Need sincere suggestion

  13. The issue with PSW is no one knows that if its even confirmed !

    I got unconditional offers to MSc at several highly ranked UK unis for 20/21 but even unis don`t confirm me about PSW

    I emailed 3 Russel group unis last month and all of them said home office is planning to introduce !!

    Now we are in May and when on earth this thing will get a confirmation ? If Universities too are reluctant to talk about this, its very fair for a student to think this is another scam by UK gov to fool international students

  14. I got unconditional offers to MSc for 20/21. My doubts are high because even the Universities Can not confirm PSW. The home office should publish the guidelines on time. If the PSW is true. To enable one make decisions on time

  15. This comes as no surprise. I feel like I have to dig a well to find any information on PSW!

    What’s the deal with international students graduating in 2020?! Anyone?

  16. I am unable to get any official information on PSW visa. Don’t know when UK govt will release true information on it. I have a MSc offer from a university, still not sure whether should i believe this unofficial statements or not.

  17. Government should provide PSW to all the students who graduated in 2020 as they didn’t have the time to even find a job and their visa expired due to covid crises.

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