There are signs that British universities are becoming concerned about the new immigration regulations that the UK has implemented because of their financial impact.
This came as officials in the UK higher education sector issued cautions about the potential repercussions of the move.
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According to MDB, under the new regulations, students from Nigeria and other countries studying in the UK would no longer be permitted to bring family members as dependents unless certain conditions are met.
This is in an effort by the UK government to reduce immigration, which is now at roughly 1 million per year.
To prevent abuse of the visa system, the UK will no longer allow international students to switch from the student path to the employment route before their studies are finished.
According to a review of Nigerian visas issued by the UK in 2022, dependents received more permits than students.
However, MDB’s findings showed that several of the universities had filled up on admissions. However, the universities postponed admitting the prospective students rather than rejecting them.
In a report by the Evening Standard, Jamie Arrowsmith, the director of Universities UK International, urged the government to lessen the impact of changes to immigration laws on universities, which were already facing “serious financial pressures.”
He added that the changes to rules on dependants are likely to have a “disproportionate impact on women and students from certain countries”.
“Anything that threatens to affect the UK’s global success as a top destination for international talent needs to be considered very carefully,” Mr Arrowsmith said.
On his part, the Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), Nick Hillman, said he hoped that Suella Braverman would now lobby the Chancellor “to help universities recoup their losses” following the announcement.
This is not a wise move because every part of the UK benefits from the presence of international students, and, if they are discouraged from coming to the UK, they won’t stay at home but instead go to our competitors.
Mr Hillman added;
As a country, we risk cutting off our nose to spite our face. Given that international student fees subsidise the teaching of home students as well as UK research, I hope the Home Secretary will now be lobbying the Chancellor to help universities recoup their losses.