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UK extends pilot student visa scheme to 23 more varsities

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In a move that will attract more international students to the UK, the UK government has extended its pilot student visa scheme to 23 more universities. The scheme was launched in 2016 on pilot basis in four UK educational institutions– Oxford University, Bath University, Cambridge University and Imperial College, London. Now the scheme has been extended to 23 more universities that include Scottish, Irish and Welsh institutions.
As a result, the students in these educational institutions will get six months to find a job after finishing their studies. Other advantages of this scheme for students include simpler visa application process for prospective Master’s students, and better opportunity to switch to a work visa and take up employment.

Under the pilot student visa scheme as well, the students will have to undergo Home Office security and identity checks and meet the prescribed immigration requirements. The responsibility for checking the eligibility of students for this scheme is also entrusted to the universities in which they are studying.
According to Britain’s Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis, the number of students coming to Britain for higher studies has increased by 24 percent since 2010. The number of Indian students enrolled in the UK higher education institutions was 16745 in 2015-16.
Higher education is a critical sector in the UK, contributing significantly to the nation’s economy. But after the country making the visa rules stricter, there was a fall in the number of students. The number of Indian students enrolled in UK institutions has come down by over 44 percent in the last five years.
The 23 universities to be added to the pilot student visa scheme are:

  • Cardiff University
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • Harper Adams University
  • Newcastle University
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Reading
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Wales Trinity St. David (Swansea Campus)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

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