Response to the statement from the Home Secretary on graduate visas

In response to the written ministerial statement issued a short time ago by the Home Office, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:

“After months of speculation, we have clarity from the UK Government. We welcome the commitment to retaining the post-study work visa which benefits both students and employers. It also helps retain talent in Scotland which is critical given our demographic challenges.

“Less welcome is the decision to restrict visas to the dependents of international students below PhD level. It will be very important that the UK Government works with the sector, across the UK, to first understand and then reflect on the likely impact of these changes on universities and their wider communities.

“International students make an invaluable contribution to Scotland, not just our universities and the wider economy. Last week, research showed the economic benefit of international students in Scotland is £4.75 billion and there exists broad public and political support for international students coming to Scotland.

“Ultimately, talent knows no borders. We want to have the sharpest, most inquisitive minds learning, teaching and researching here in Scotland. That benefits not just their university, but the nation and the world as a whole. International students need to know they are always welcome in Scotland.”