Its policies don’t always keep industry stakeholders happy, but the UK is still the second most-popular destination for international students worldwide. Last year, pressure mounted on the government to reintroduce a post-study work visa, but the Migration Advisory Committee thought otherwise. But as Dominic Scott, former UKCISA chief executive, told The PIE, it’s not all doom and gloom. Changes to current regulations are also on the horizon: the immigration white paper published in 2018 recommended a six-month PSW period for all degree graduates and an amendment extending the period to two years has recently been supported by the Home Secretary.
Study permits (for non-EEA students – further clarifications on how the existing regulations will apply to EEA students are expected over the coming months )
Work rights during a course (for non-EEA students, see above)
Changes to the UK immigration system also affecting international students are pending a full review. The white paper currently proposes scrapping targets, giving all degree graduate a six-month post-study work leave (12 months for PhDs) and implementing a lower – but yet unspecified – salary threshold for graduate positions.
EU students starting their course in the 2020/21 academic year will still enjoy free tuition in Scotland, and those in England will still have access to ‘home’ fees and financial support for the duration of their course.
Some good news from UCAS and HESA - but growth comes mostly from non-EU countries
For the UK international education industry 2016-17 was not the most exciting year, according to HESA statistics.