A comprehensive report lately published by the British government explains in details the new immigration policy which is going to be applied in UK after the Brexit has officially taken place on March 2019, reports Studying-in-UK.org.
Although higher education representatives and other participants salute this report and its conclusion they raise alerts over new barriers for prospective EU students, particularly for those willing to attend short-term courses.
Stressing out the importance and the value international students, including those coming from EU countries, bring to the UK universities and the British culture, the Government made it clear that there were won’t be limitations in the number of seats reserved for foreign students at UK university halls and they won’t be subject to stringent restrictions.
Also, the report reads that UK will be highly committed to providing optimal conditions for foreign talents, considering them as an important part of the national higher education sector and future ambassadors of the UK.
About the entrance of international students in UK, the report states that following the settlement of Brexit there won’t be any major changes in visa policies applied to overseas students, particularly for non-visa nationals.
On the other hand, non-visa nationals which include the EU students, don’t need to obtain a permit to enter the UK with the intention of staying for a period of up to 6 months, however, are obliged to acquire an Electronic Travel Authorization before their entrance in the country.
The report emphasizes that the introduction of this rule is made for the purpose of improving the evidence of foreign visitors in UK.
Among others, the document reads as follows:
“The ETA will enable us to conduct more security checks in advance of arrival, protect the border better and smooth the passage for legitimate travellers,”.
On the other side, higher education parties share a different opinion on these changes. They have raised concerns that this will deter EU students from coming to UK universities. EU students, they say, will look out for other attractive study options where courses are delivered in English and they don’t need to go through the scope of restrictive immigration policies.
EU students are the largest group of overseas students in UK. According to official statistics covering the number of international students, as of the 2016/17 academic year, there were around 140,000 EU students attending UK universities.
Moreover, in 53 out of 90 colleges there were EU students (including Irish students also) enrolled in different courses. On average, there were 353 EU students enrolled at British universities as of 2016/17.
Following a continual pressure exerted from higher education experts and university leaders to the UK Government, the latter earlier in this year has confirmed that EU students enrolled at UK universities as of 2019/20 will still carry the same tuition fees and have full access on student loan funds, but beyond that academic year the Government has not given a firm decision, yet.
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