Russian students who graduate from universities in the UK will be able to get a work visa and stay in the country after graduation
Foreign students, including from Russia, will be able to stay in the UK for two years after graduating with a work visa. Such an initiative to extend for graduates the period during which they can stay in the country to find work, was made by the Home Office.
The new rules will come into force for students starting to study at the undergraduate or higher level from 2020. After the two-year visa, they will be able to apply for a long-term work visa.
As noted by the BBC Russian service, this step cancels the decision of the former Minister of Internal Affairs Theresa May of 2012, which forced foreign students to leave the country four months after receiving the diploma. After 2012, the number of international students in the UK has fallen dramatically.
Now, the country's new prime minister, Boris Johnson, a Russophile with Russian roots, said that as a result of the rule change, foreign students will be able to "reach their potential" and begin a career in the UK.
Joseph Johnson, who resigned as junior minister for university and science last week, advocated extending visas after graduation. In April, he amended the law on immigration, providing for two-year work visas.
However, as noted by the BBC, there are those who disagree with this decision: for example, the Migration Watch campaign group called this a “retrograde” step. Its head Alp Mehmet believes that the decision could lead to the fact that many unclaimed foreign graduates will appear in the country.
However, Education Minister Gavin Williamson is confident that foreign students can make a significant cultural and economic contribution, and their presence only benefits the country.
According to the new policy, there will be no restrictions on the number of visas issued to students. They will allow graduates to apply for a job regardless of their skills or the subject they studied. According to the government, one of the goals was to attract talented graduates in such disciplines as mathematics, engineering and technology.
This step was enthusiastically welcomed by the organization "Universities of Great Britain", in which 130 higher educational institutions are represented. There are already preparing to reduce the number of students from the EU in the case of "Brexit".
Alistair Jarvis, executive director of UK Universities, said the previous visa regime put the UK in "unfavorable competition conditions" when recruiting international students. Now, in his opinion, UK universities will be the "first choice of educational institution" for international students. "The evidence suggests that international students are making a significant positive social contribution to the UK, as well as an economic contribution of £ 26 billion," says Jarvis.
In turn, the head of Migration Watch Alp Mehmet says that this is an unreasonable step, which will lead to the fact that "foreign graduates with diplomas will put goods on the shelves." "Our universities attract a record number of foreign students, so there is no need to discount the study visa, turning it into a way to get a job here," Mehmet said.
Last year, about 460 thousand foreign students studied at UK universities, not counting those who lived in the EU. The government intends to increase this number to 600 thousand over the next 10 years.