London: Two leading organisations - the
British Council and Universities UK - have opposed the recent
changes to student visa rules that may reduce Britain`s
attraction as a destination for students from India and other
Of all the changes, the most controversial is the
abolition of the post-study work visa from April, which
allowed self-financing students from India and other non-EU
countries to recover some of the cost of their courses here as
well as gain valuable work experience for two years.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK,
said: "We support the elimination of abuse in the visa system
but are concerned that an unintended consequence of the
changes to Tier 4 is that legitimate students will be put off,
or prevented from studying in the UK".
She added: "We are particularly concerned about limited
provision for post-study employment in the new rules. We
recognise that unrestricted access to the labour market is not
possible in the current economic climate, but the new rules
risk having a disproportionate impact on particular sectors,
regions and professions, and reducing the global talent pool
from which employers can recruit".
Amidst reports of falling number of student applications
from India, the British Council has called for an "urgent
review" of the changes to the student visa system,
particularly the closure of the popular post-study work visa
from April this year.
The British Council, which is responsible for promoting
British education overseas, presented a detailed report to the
government on the likely impact the recent student visa
changes will have, and compared the experiences of Australia
and US in this regard.