Curb fake UK student visas not foreign student numbers
United Kingdom, 4th November: Targeting international students for curbing abuse of UK immigration system is a big mistake of the UK government.
The government should rather focus on recognizing the advantages of foreign students to the UK economy while tightening the noose on those misusing the UK student visa system.
Foreign students’ significant contribution--As per the available statistics, overseas students coming to the UK contribute nearly £5billion annually to the economy of the UK in the form of off-campus expenses and tuition fees. And that’s exactly what the Tories need to acknowledge.
The new UK student visa rules introduced by the UK government in March this year have heightened concerns among several educational providers.
According to general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, the new tougher UK student visa norms seem to be sending wrong signals to aspirants of UK student visas. She said the message to the world is that the nation is closed for any business.
Tackle abuse, not genuine foreign students--There is no doubt that the UK student visa system has been subject to widespread abuse in the recent times. And by crackdown on several fake or bogus colleges and educational institutes flourishing in the UK, the government has taken an appropriate step.
The reports reveal that majority of fake educational institutes were acting as immigration agents for foreign students.
Such institutes were unable to furnish authentic proof of a list of foreign students enrolled or any records showing attendance of students. However, the government needs to understand that there is a vital difference between controlling the abuse of UK student visa system and reducing the number of UK student visas.
Abuse of student visa must be targeted by the government but that should not prevent genuine foreign students from coming to the UK. The government should act tough on bogus colleges and visa abuse to restore faith of the public.
Australia has reintroduced the option for international students to work and stay after completion of graduation and the UK government must take a lesson or two from Australian government by relaxing stricter student visa norms.
Only then can the UK regain an edge in the competitive international education market.