The United Kingdom must forge a new position for itself in the world and an avenue to that new position is by extending work visas for international students who come to the isles to study. Info according to the University UK the umbrella body for the UK’s further education. This is due to more and more students leaving the UK immediately after graduation.
Naturally, there would be a larger foreign graduate population in the UK if they didn’t have to go out of their way to extend their Visas. Obviously it isn’t altogether impossible for students to stay in the UK after graduation it’s just proposed that if the process were simpler to the extent that the students wouldn’t even have to think about it, they would be more encouraged to stay.
‘University UK’ believes that putting this action into legislation will send out a clear message to the rest of the world that they are welcome on these shores. Whilst the UK still has the 2nd largest foreign student population of around 450,000 a year it is on the decline with its major rivals of France, Germany and Canada all steadily increasing at a rate that will see them overtake the UK by 2022.
The government is unfortunately at odds with this proposal having agreed to reduce net migration by the tens of thousands and with 134,835 of the students coming from the EU, in post-Brexit Britain it seems that there may be a conflict of interest that could cause some unrest.
Many believe that the UK is at risk of closing itself off to the rest of the world with Brexit cementing the nation’s reputation as hostile towards outsiders. The most growth for international students was actually in Australia which saw a massive 10% rise in the last year. Many see it as an English speaking alternative to the UK. Swayed by the weather? I’m sure that helps.
English is the most popular second language in the world and that is unlikely to change anytime soon so The UK’s position as a haven for international students could spell good news for countries like Australia and Canada and most obviously the USA who retain the most international students in the entire world.
A recent ComRes poll evidenced that a huge 75% of people don’t think that students count as immigrants. So the sway of public opinion towards migrants doesn’t extend to those in higher education in which case there seems to be no reason that University UK’s proposal can’t be considered.