The UK government set out to welcome 600,000 international students into the country by 2030. This target has been exceeded a decade early, creating room for the government to review their approach to student visas and the current regulations surrounding dependants on a student visa.
International students are fundamental to the success of many UK universities, with the best talent from across the world seeking further knowledge from these reputable institutions. Welcoming foreign students has been reported to foster sustainable growth for many UK universities with numerous international students applying for jobs in the UK post-graduation.
The UK currently stands in second position as the most popular destination for international study. For the UK to maintain – or even exceed – its position, the Home Office should continue to welcome international students to the UK whilst valuing their contribution to the growth of the country. This includes any dependants they intend to bring with them. Home Office conducted an analysis that acknowledged “those coming on sponsored study visas bring relatively few dependants, with 83% of the visas issued being to main applicants, and therefore around one in six grants being to a dependant”.
Whilst students bringing in dependants creates value for the UK, the government has proposed the need to revisit the number of dependants entering the country. Following this recent development, the UK government has suggested making amends to the rules and regulations surrounding student visas and bringing their dependants. International students have been reported to be bringing in a record-breaking number of dependants to the UK, with 34,000 Nigerian students bringing in 31,898 dependants.
The UK government has stated that it is focusing on building new opportunities for international students as well as diversifying the pool of international students by ensuring equal opportunities for everyone. However, since the appointment of the new prime minister, there have been some radically different statements made by government officials on the future of international student visas.
The home secretary has stated that “too many students who are coming into the country who are propping up, frankly, substandard courses in inadequate institutions. I think poor universities are being bankrolled by students and I would really like to see that number come down.”
Ms Braverman, a UK cabinet minister has also said, “We want people with high skills, we want people with tech qualifications.”
Now that we have a clearer idea of what the government is looking for, international student applications can be tailored to match this. Holmes & Partners work exclusively with Russel Group universities up and down the country as well as many private schools. This means that whilst we can only speculate on the specific institutions the government has suggested to be “inadequate”, we can offer up to date advice and guidance throughout the process to reduce the risk of your application being rejected.