UofG welcomes decision to reintroduce two-year post study visas

Published: 11 September 2019

Move will help Scotland attract international students, says Principal

The Principal of the University of Glasgow, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, has described the Government’s decision to allow international students to stay in the UK for two years after graduation as “a welcome move”.

The Home Office has announced moves to reverse a decision made in 2012 by the then-Home Secretary, Theresa May, that forced students to leave the UK four months after finishing a degree.

Sir Anton described the announcement as “a step forward to help Scotland attract international students”. The Scottish Government had been calling for changes to student work visas since Mrs May had scrapped them.

He added: “More measures are needed, however, to ensure that immigration policy meets our needs.”

The move was also welcomed by Rachel Sandison, the University’s Vice-Principal for External Relations, who said: “As a world-changing, research-intensive, global university, we strive to attract the most talented students – and staff – from across the world. After years of lobbying, I am delighted that we now see a return of the much-needed, two-year post-study work visa, which will help the UK regain competitiveness in key markets.”

The Russell Group has described the move as "an encouraging example of Number 10, the Home Office and the Business and Education Departments working together to protect the UKI's global outlook".

The change will apply to international students in the UK - there were around 450,000 last year - who start courses at undergraduate level or above from next year onwards.

They must be studying at an institution with a track record in upholding immigration checks.

Under the proposals, there is no restriction on the kinds of jobs students would have to seek and no cap on numbers.

The Home Office has said it will announce details of the reintroduced scheme in due course.

First published: 11 September 2019