As a part of the changes announced to Britain’s education strategy for foreign students. Indian and other international students to the UK will get more time to work after completing their undergraduate or postgraduate degree, under changes announced by the British government. Masters and undergraduate students will now be able to work for six months, whereas doctoral students will be able to work for a year after their degree. They will also be able to apply for a skilled work visa 3 months before the end of their course, or move to skilled work for two years after graduation if they return to their home country.
Sector body Universities UK said they welcomed the changes including the decision to launch a cross- departmental strategy for work on international students, as well as the work visa changes but said would continue to press the government to “go further and extend this opportunity to at least two years.” Jo Johnson, the former Universities minister who resigned as a minister over the direction of Brexit negotiations warned that the UK needed to allow “at least two years post study (as other countries do) to be competitive. “The UK is rapidly losing market share in international students.”
Earlier this month, UK had once again not included India in an expanded list of countries from which students applying for visas would be subject to less stringent documentation requirements.
While the number of Indian students to the UK rose sharply last year
Jo Johnson MP writes in the report’s foreword, while successive governments have acknowledged public concern about levels of immigration, they have “failed to make the positive, evidence-based case for embracing foreign-born talent”. Without immigrants, he adds, we would not be such a dynamic nation of manufacturers, exporters, app designers, innovators and disruptions.
Perhaps immigrants are natural entrepreneurs, equipped with the tenacity and resilience to not only start up a life overseas but start up a business here too. Consider Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia. Born in Uganda, Sukhpal came to the UK as a teenager and spent his first year here in a refugee camp. The business he later started – Euro Car Parts – has grown to 300 sites across the UK and employs 12,000 people.
Many of the immigrants on our list came to the UK to study. Mats Stigzelius, for example, moved here to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester. For the past decade the Finnish entrepreneur has been a founding partner of Rainmaking, which has helped to build and scale 720 startups. Rainmaking currently has 250+ team members across the globe. Stigzelius’s latest business, Takumi, has secured over £7m in investment.
Jo Johnson MP writes in twitter “The students at recognised universities will have an automatic right to stay on to work for two years on their Tier 4 student visa and, in addition, will no longer be counted towards any hard UK-wide net migration cap on numbers.”
Universities must be places that “open minds, not close them”, Jo Johnson is to warn as he argues that students must be able to challenge controversial opinions.
The universities minister will add that there are dangers to shielding students from differing views under the banner of “no-platforming” in British institutions.
During a Boxing Day speech at the Limmud Festival in Birmingham – a celebration of Jewish learning and culture – Mr Johnson will say: “Universities should be place that open minds, not close them, where ideas can be freely challenged”.
Mr Johnson will add: “In universities in America and, worryingly, in the UK, we have seen examples of groups seeking to stifle those who do not agree with them.
“We must not allow this to happen. Young people should have the residence and confidence to challenge controversial opinions and take part in open, frank and rigorous discussions. That is why the new regulator, the Office for Students, will go even further to ensure that universities promote freedom of speech within the law.”
His comments come amid an ongoing debate about free speech at universities, and a number of reports of speakers, debates, literature and organisations being opposed or criticized, often by student unions, societies or particular groups of students.
Mr Johnson will also say that institutions must ensure there is no place for hatred, discrimination, extremism or racism.
“A racist or anti-Semitic environment is by definition an illiberal one that is completely in opposition the liberal tradition of our universities,”