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International Students Policy Win

International Students Policy Win

11th September 2019

New visa plans for international students

The Higher Education Commission welcomes the news of today’s policy win, as the Department for Education announces the introduction of two year post-study work visas for international students. We recommended this in our September 2018 report ‘Staying Ahead: Are International Students Going Down Under?’, stating in Recommendation 3 that the Home Office should institute improved post-study work options and streamlined visa processes to match our key competitors such as Australia.

Australia currently offers a two year post-study work visa to those holding an undergraduate degree, and a two to three year visa for those with a master’s degree. We highlighted in the report that the UK has been losing its market share of international students since around 2014/15, and Australia has been leading in capturing that market share due to its visa rules.

Today’s announcement should make our visa policy competitive with the USA and Australia, and strengthen our international student intake in order to progress towards the Government’s target of 600,000 international students in higher education in the UK by 2030. It’s great to see positive developments from Government on some of our other key recommendations from the report, including setting a target for international student intake, and the establishment of a whole-of-government strategy on international education in the UK and abroad.

In addition, we are delighted to see Chris Skidmore back in place as Universities Minister, and we look forward to working with him.

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Staying Ahead report cover
Staying Ahead report cover