Here’s some welcome news for international students looking to study in the UK: Home Secretary Sajid Javid has expressed support for lifting work restrictions currently imposed on international students in the UK.
According to The Guardian, Javid is arguing for what he said is a more “flexible, sensible attitude” to immigration, which goes against Prime Minister Theresa May’s strict immigration restrictions.
Under the current immigration rules, international students can work in the UK for up to six months after completing their studies at a UK university.
Previously, international students were allowed to stay and work in the UK for up to two years after graduation. This was slashed to a mere four months in 2012 when Theresa May, who was Home Secretary at the time, introduced new rules to meet the government’s target of limiting its annual net migration.
Big news – Home Secretary accepts my new clause in Immigration Bill lifting post study restrictions on foreign students! Real win for UK soft power. Many thanks to Conservative colleagues and the x-party MPs who backed it, esp @PaulBlomfieldMP
— Jo Johnson (@JoJohnsonUK) June 7, 2019
In the Financial Times, Javid said: “It makes no sense to send some of the brightest and most enterprising people in the world straight home after their time here.”
For some, the UK acts as a second home after a prolonged duration of study. Lengthening the period foreign students are allowed to stay and work in the UK means allowing them to contribute their skills and knowledge to the nation and economy. This can also improve the UK’s competitive talent in the international sphere.
“The US, Canada and New Zealand offer international graduates the opportunity to work for up to three years after graduation, and Australia for up to four years,” noted PoliticsHome.
Javid is among the hopefuls looking to succeed May after she leaves Downing Street. His announcement was warmly received by many.
This is such enormously positive news. This change, a long time coming, matters for the whole of the country and not just for universities. Many thanks and congratulations to @JoJohnsonUK and @PaulBlomfieldMP for building such impressive support across parties https://t.co/7gBBrjCiRS
— vivienne stern (@viviennestern) June 7, 2019
Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, tweeted: “This is such enormously positive news. This change, a long time coming, matters for the whole of the country and not just for universities. Many thanks and congratulations to @JoJohnsonUK and @PaulBlomfieldMP for building such impressive support across parties.”
Jo Johnson, Orpington MP and former universities minister, describe his announcement as a “Real win for UK soft power” on Twitter.
Jasmine Whitbread, London First CEO, tweeted: “Well done @JoJohnsonUK @UniversitiesUK and everyone who helped push for this breakout in sanity – international students are and always have been a boon to business and society”.
Meanwhile, Neil Carmichael said: “This is, indeed, great news. During my time as chair of @CommonsEd, we produced a report demanding exactly this approach. If we are serious about ‘exporting education’, then we must enable it to happen.”