Foreign PhD Students Can Stay Longer in UK

New legislation has been brought into effect in April 2013 which alters the amount of time that PhD and MBA students are allowed to stay in the UK after their studies have finished. This is a surprising change to the laws at a time when the government is trying to clamp down on foreign student visas , as some see them as a loophole to gaining entry into the UK. The reason that the legislation has been brought into effect, even though it bucks the trend is that these top end students offer more value to the economy, and their contributions are seen as beneficial to the country as a whole.

Photo Credit: Monash University via Compfight cc Genuine Applicants

Under the new laws, graduating PhD students will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 12 months to set up a business or seek work, and an additional 1,000 MBA graduates will be offered the opportunity to stay for the same period as part of the tier 1 exceptional talent route. As well as bringing in these welcome changes to reward the highest achieving foreign academic students , Theresa May, Home Secretary also announced that she would be enforcing a new regime of face to face interviews in order to determine the genuine academic applicants from those trying to gain fake visas under study pretences, saying that “welcoming legitimate students and identifying and rejecting bogus students is at the heart of our changes to the student visa regime.”

No Cap on Legitimate Foreign Student Enrolling

The plans have been met with a mixed reception by educators in the UK, with the general feeling being that the longer visa times are great news for foreign students, but there is concern over the heavy reliance on interviews for application acceptance as this could end up with perfectly legitimate student visa applications being turned down due to mistakes being made. If we can create a fair and just way of screening student visa applications and getting the interview stage right, this could be great news for the higher education system in the UK as there is no cap on the number of legitimate foreign students that can enrol on courses. This will be a boost to all universities as well as a boost in tuition fees and may ease the financial pressures. More foreign students taking PhD and MBA courses will also be great news for British based students enrolling onto these courses as a more culturally diverse enrolment is seen as a positive thing by employers.

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