Under plans recently announced by the Government, international students are to be granted an extra year in the UK to work after they graduate. Foreign graduates are currently allowed to work in the UK for one year after university, and the plans will extend that period by 12 months.
The plans were accompanied by a crack-down on phony colleges and universities operating in the UK, to allay fears that ‘bogus’ institutions are being used as a means to circumvent immigration controls
The Government’s Minister for Universities in the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), Bill Rammell MP (pictured) said “I welcome the education sector’s involvement in developing a structure that allows international students to benefit from the excellent educational experience the UK offers, while giving them the opportunity to work in the UK for two years following graduation.
“However, I will not tolerate the minority of individuals who seek to damage the quality of our education system through bogus colleges.”
The Conservative Party attacked the Government’s plans, with the Shadow Immigration Minister calling it “a stealth amnesty for overstayers” but the President of the National Union of Students, Wes Streeting, praised the initiative.
“We know that international students face increasing pressure to gain work experience in the UK, so the flexibility allowing them to remain in the UK for up to two years after graduation will make a real difference to their employment prospects when they return home.
“It is unfortunate that some critics have seized upon this measure as an opportunity to play politics within the immigration debate, instead of celebrating the positive benefits of immigration to our education system and the UK’s position in a highly competitive and globalised labour market.”