Amber Rudd could backtrack on student visa restriction

Written by Emilio Casalicchio and Tom Freeman on 23 November 2016 in News

Reports Home Secretary Amber Rudd may scale back plans to restrict post-study visas to only a handful of elite universities

Amber Rudd - Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

Home Secretary Amber Rudd is reportedly set to backtrack on controversial student visa plans that would allow only foreigners at top universities to work in Britain once their courses end.

Rudd announced the plan at the Conservative party conference, but a consultation has now been pushed back to the new year, according to The Times.

The paper reports Rudd will now consider a wider proposal, such as handing visa powers to universities according to a ranking system or allowing students on “strategically important” courses to stay, even if they are not at top institutions.


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A Whitehall source told the paper: “One question being considered is whether there are courses where it is beneficial to the UK economy to allow all universities to incentivise foreign students with the chance to stay and work.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “This is not about pulling up the drawbridge to international students but making sure those students that come here, come to study.”

Speaking to Holyrood in a recent interview, Universities Scotland convener Andrea Nolan said she was "deeply concerned" about the direction of UK immigration policy. "Mobility of talent is at the core of higher education. We need these opportunities. The UK’s higher education sector cannot be put at risk of stagnation,” she said.

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