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New Immigration Measures Affecting Students

The Government has recently announced a series of measures that it says are designed to tackle potential abuse of the student visa system.

The measures will come into force in November and will impose tougher rules on universities and colleges that sponsor international students to study in the UK.

Currently, educational institutions can enjoy Highly Trusted Sponsor status if the Home Office rejects 20% or fewer student applications as being invalid.

From November this figure will be cut to 10% after a three-month grace period for colleges and universities to re-examine and improve their admissions procedures.

If more than one in ten applications are being rejected from November onwards, educational institutions could lose their right to bring in new students from overseas.

The announcement has been greeted with concern by some organisations, including the Association of Colleges, which fears the changes may have a detrimental effect.

“Entry clearance officers are often unfamiliar with further education colleges and the types of courses they offer,” commented Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges. “This means people hoping to study at an FE college are sometimes refused entry to the UK. This happens less than with universities.”

“We are concerned that reducing the proportion of applicants who can be refused a visa to 10%, which can trigger the loss of highly trusted status, might detrimentally affect colleges more than universities, not because they don’t take the care to ensure students are genuine, but because the system is unfairly structured and there is a lack of understanding from entry clearance officers,” he added.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

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