The United Kingdom has made changes to its student visa system that will limit the number of foreign students studying in Britain, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. In a statement, the UK Home Office says the aim of the change is to limit abuse of the system and to protect the "best and brightest" students. Under the new system, students pursuing a bachelor's degree or beyond will be able to spend a maximum of five years on a student visa and only graduates with a job offer from a sponsoring employer will be able to stay in the country after finishing school. Currently, students may stay in Britain for two years after they finish their schooling to find a job. "The changes I am announcing today re-focus the student route as a temporary one, available to only the brightest and best," says Home Secretary Theresa May. "The new system is designed to ensure students come for a limited period, to study not work, and make a positive contribution while they are here." The Chronicle adds that "the original proposal was even stricter" and that there has been a mixed response among university and student groups. In a statement, the National Union of Students says that "important concessions had been won but that the closure of the post-study work route would act as a huge disincentive to talented students coming to the UK."
The System Changes in the UK
Mar 23, 2011