UK to let foreign students stay two years after graduation post-Brexit

Published September 11, 2019
Warwick University graduates on the day of their graduation ceremony in Warwick, Britain July 17, 2017. — Reuters/File
Warwick University graduates on the day of their graduation ceremony in Warwick, Britain July 17, 2017. — Reuters/File

Britain's government on Wednesday announced new post-Brexit immigration plans that will allow international students to work in the country for two years after graduating.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the change was aimed at attracting the “brightest and the best from around the world” and a sign of “the UK's ambition once we have left the European Union”.

“Instead of being open to free movement from just the (EU), the United Kingdom will be able to take advantage of a global talent pool ... and that's something that's a great advantage for us,” she told BBC radio.

Leadsom said the government wanted to increase the number of international students in Britain 30 per cent to 600,000 by 2030, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and maths, collectively known as STEM subjects.

International students currently make up half of all full-time post-graduate STEM students in the country. They can currently remain in Britain for up to four months after completing their studies, with the new rules now set to come into effect for those starting courses next year.

“Giving them that two-year period will enable them to find a job that befits their degree,” Leadsom added.

“There are so many new skills and new industries that are just now emerging, and we do want to be able to attract a global talent pool of people.”

Students will need to have successfully completed a degree from a “trusted” British university or higher education provider which “has a proven track record in upholding immigration checks and other rules”, according to the government.

Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, which campaigns to reduce immigration levels, said it was an “unwise” and “retrograde” step which would “likely lead to foreign graduates staying on to stack shelves, as happened before”.

“Our universities are attracting a record number of overseas students so there is no need to devalue a study visa by turning it into a backdoor route for working here,” he added.

Opinion

Editorial

More leaks
Updated 29 Sep, 2022

More leaks

Recent leaks look more like an inside job than the work of a foreign power.
A depressing winter
29 Sep, 2022

A depressing winter

WINTER is on its way, with a massive gas crunch looming as elevated global LNG prices have eroded the cash-strapped...
Great expectations
29 Sep, 2022

Great expectations

CONSIDERING that the Afghan Taliban have been in the saddle for over a year now, the UN has expressed frustration...
The whole truth
28 Sep, 2022

The whole truth

THE war on truth has never been more relentless than it is today. Authoritarianism is on the rise and purveyors of...
Real-world trolls
Updated 28 Sep, 2022

Real-world trolls

It's reprehensible how PTI supporters now seem convinced that politicians from opposing camps aren't entitled to basic dignity.
Islamabad wildlife
28 Sep, 2022

Islamabad wildlife

PRESERVING biodiversity is low on the list of priorities of both state and society. However, successful attempts at...