VISA & Travel information


Major breakthrough in UK immigration norms for graduate and doctoral studies

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

Recent changes in the UK immigration rules will benefit skilled foreign workers and bright students. Foreign MBA students from UK Universities would be allowed to stay on for up to a year after graduation in UK as part of Entrepreneurship development programme. Up to 1000 international students per year can able to stay in UK as per Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. During this period they can generate Business ideas of work with startup companies. Then they can apply for skilled worker or entrepreneur visa.

Moreover the changes would allow PhD students to stay on after their studies up to a year and work, without taking any course. Intra company transferees will no longer need to take IELTS if they want to work with other UK companies or to extend their leave in UK. These changes are made to attract the best and brightest global talent to UK. Moreover it will facilitate doctoral students to join for post doctoral research in UK.
International students always preferred UK as the best destination for higher education due to cutting edge technology, infrastructure facilities, flexible curriculum and availability of short duration courses. Moreover there are options for students to complete graduate /MBA programme within one year period. As a sequele to closure of UK Post Study Visa with effect from 6th April 2012 number of Indian students applying for university courses started declining. Each year, foreign students coming to the UK generate nearly 14 billion UK pounds to the nation’s economy. Hence, the closure of the UK Tier 1 visa program was being criticized by many including Universities UK.

Reduction in number of Indian students for graduate and post graduate programmes in UK universities have led to concerns over the financial viability of courses and departments particularly in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This was mainly due to abolition of the post study work visa.

The facility was popular among self-financing Indian students who sought to recover some of the expenses of studying by working for two years. The facility also enabled them to gain work experience in the UK that was seen to aid career prospects in India. The UK Tier 1 visa program provided a good option of financially supporting their stay in the UK by getting employment for a period of two years and also offered valuable work experience for foreign students. A large number of Indians avail the opportunity of working in the UK after successful completion of studies in the UK. But the UK’s recent decision to benefit skilled foreign workers and bright students will up to an extent will help Indian students to pursue graduate and doctoral programmes in UK.

Reduction of Indian students to study STEM subjects affected the sustainability of certain subjects in UK Universities.  Some universities were particularly concerned about the impact of reduction of international student numbers on specific subject areas, especially STEM; the reductions may affect the viability of some subjects in the future. Changes in student visa policies created an adverse impact particularly in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the business relationships. British Council presented a detailed report to the Government on the likely impact the student visa changes will have, and compared the experiences of Australia and United States.

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