International students in the dark about UK’s new visa and fees policies – study
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International students in the dark about UK’s new visa and fees policies – study

International students in the dark about UK’s new visa and fees policies – study

The majority of prospective international students to the UK are unaware about the UK government’s recent announcements on streamlined visa processes and EU student fee status, a new report by QS Enrolment Solutions has found.

Nearly three-quarter (73.8 percent) of the 1,800 prospective international students surveyed said they did not know whether they are one of the nationalities that qualify for the new streamlined visa application service.

The report by the student recruitment and retention solutions company also found that 63 percent of EU students neither know that EU students starting at a UK university in the 2019/2020 academic year will be charged the same tuition fees as domestic student nor that they will continue to have access to the existing financial support for the entire duration of their course.

QS Enrolment Solutions UK and Europe director Patrick Whitfield said: “The low awareness in recent government announcements that affect international students shows that there is much to gain from better informing them of schemes that affect them or make the UK more attractive. At QS we believe now is the time for the sector to do more to raise awareness of the schemes.”

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The majority of EU students are not aware of the announcement about their tuition fees and financial support once the UK officially leaves the bloc. Source: AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas

In early June this year, the UK government expanded its list of 15 nations which would benefit from having to furnish a “reduced level of documentation” when applying for study visas to the UK. The list, which has now grown to 26 nations, includes countries such as China, Bahrain, and Serbia, The PIE News reported. Oman was the only one removed from the list while India was notably absent to the chagrin of many.

Knowing there are attractive study visa policies makes a positive dent in the decision-making process of students interested to study abroad in the UK.

According to QS’s survey, 60.3 percent said they were “more interested” to study in the UK once they were told their country is included in said list. Whereas 57 percent from countries who do not currently qualify said they would be more interested if their countries are included in this “fast-track” system.

These findings suggest that such friendlier government policies can make the UK a more attractive place to study – a welcome suggestion considering a recent damning report that the UK has recently lost its spot as the second most popular study abroad destination, a position it has held for a long time, to Australia.

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