Come on Minister Green; Don’t roll-in the UK Immigration Changes!

Its not just the borderline students but also the genuine international students who will begin to drop UK from their options, the moment UK announces the abolition of the Post Study Work and other changes…Proposed visa restrictions would deter potential LSE students… says The London School of Economics students…
23/02/2011 01:48 (The Financial… LINK here)
The FINANCIAL — The London School of Economics and Political Science and LSE Students’ Union fear that proposed new visa regulations could deter significant numbers of international students from studying at the School. 

LSE has surveyed all its overseas students (from outside the UK and the EU) to gather views on the recent UK Border Agency’s consultation on changes to the student immigration system. As well as giving the School statistical information, the survey allowed students to record their feelings and comments on the proposals.

One Indian student warned, “The cancellation of PSW [Post Study Work] will drastically reduce the number of overseas students who come to the UK for studies.”

A Chinese student reported feeling a responsibility to “inform my peers in my home country to consider their choices to study in the UK…”

The Agency wants to limit further the ability of students to work for a short period after studying and reduce the ability of students to bring in dependents while they are studying. It also plans various other restrictions designed to reduce the number of people coming into the UK using a student visa, including by increasing the standard of English required to come into the country. It is the first two proposals that particularly alarm overseas students at LSE, although the School is concerned to ensure that students undertaking an English course prior to taking up their place at LSE are not deterred. Nearly 40 per cent of LSE’s 4,723 international students responded to the survey. For 56 per cent of them, the temporary entitlement to post-study work was a factor in their decision to study in the UK. Simeon Underwood, academic registrar at LSE, said, “LSE attracts the best students from across the world and faces fierce competition particularly from the Ivy League universities in the United States. Our survey shows deep dissatisfaction amongst our overseas student body at the new proposals — many have made it clear that they would not have applied under the new rules, and some have even said that they will discourage others from doing so.”

Commenting on the effect this would have on the LSE student experience, Michael Lok, International Students’ Officer at LSE Students’ Union, said, “The proposed visa changes are likely to have a broad effect on the composition and ethos of the LSE student body, and will ultimately effect the overall university experience for both home and overseas students. The LSESU is working closely with the School on this issue, as well as with other students’ unions to ensure that the concerns of all students, both home and international, are taken into account by the government.” The strength of feeling about the new proposals is also evident from the comments by students who responded to the LSE survey. For example:

“[PSW] is one important reason that I chose to study in UK rather than the States, Canada, or Australia.” — Chinese student

I see no point in cancelling PSW. Since most of the foreign students only plan to gain some working experience in UK and have long-term plans back in their home countries… Further as far as I know, foreign students bring enormous consumption to UK”. – Chinese student

“If my spouse could not have worked in the UK, I would not have chosen to undertake my (5 year) programme of study in the UK, because she would not only have lost the ability to earn a salary to support our family but also would have to deal in future with the implications of her lost work experience” -Canadian student

“If I couldn’t come with my spouse, I would choose other countries where the cost of living is much less, such as the USA or Canada.” – South Korean student



  1. Hi Ravi,

    Changes in PSW will have devastating effect and if implemented, International students number will be down, might be more than 50%, looking at responses across world. For India specific this will impact not only on numbers of Indian students going to UK but students applying to other countries also as we have seen in recent past as Indian students and parents will afraid to take decision for International studies looking at changes on almost all countries. I am still clueless on including PSW in consultation as PSW offered only to Bachelor or Master degree students and mostly these students are opting prestigious UK Universities and rarely Private Colleges again mostly Highly Trusted and that too vetted by UK Universities only. By PSW, UK is getting ready skill and again numbers are not that too big like Immigrants reaching to UK from nearby European Countries where economy is badly hit like Greece and Ireland. Looking at economic situation also nothing can be achieved by removing PSW other than losing good quality genuine International students. Even if you look at present numbers as said in one of your article numbers of students from India to UK from 2009 to 2010 is almost half, automatically applications for PSW will be less than half or even more less. In December 2009, all UK visa offices received total 9676 applications from India and in December 2010, it was reduced to only 4368, even less than half too. Before making any final move to change rules on old numbers Mr. Green should check present status and see whether any points are there to implement changes other than welcoming only fixing few misused loopholes.



  2. If UK numbers go down, will that help Aus? Just that I noticed the same when Aus numbers went down, other countries picked up. Of course it had something to do with relaxed visa requirements and post-study options.




    1. Most definitely yes. There is a correlation. However, I am gradually seeing a flat world even more. One will change a regulation and others will follow it. Australia made IELTS compulsory, NZ too has made it compulsory in India even though the policy doesnot say so and I notice that Canada too like Austrlia and NZ, is asking only for IELTS than TOEFL.


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