Responding to the UK Government’s (22 March) announcement on changes to the student visa system, Universities Scotland welcomed the fact that the worst of the proposals had been dropped and the impact on international students numbers coming to study at university will not be as badly affected as first feared.
However, the closure of the post-study work route is disappointing and universities will want to work closely with the Scottish and UK Governments to ensure that the new proposal for international graduates to take up employment after study still delivers for students and for universities. The post-study work route is an important element to international students’ decision-making and it is important that the changes do not set Scotland and the UK at a competitive disadvantage relative to other countries.
Responding to today’s statement on student visas by Home Secretary Theresa May, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:
“The proposals to limit student visas announced today do not go as far as we had feared. We understand that, as highly trusted sponsors, the cuts to the number of student visas issued will not apply to universities. A strong presence of international students is an asset to Scotland’s universities and Scotland as a whole as well as making a significant economic contribution. It is important that international students know they are still very welcome in Scotland.”