Sajid Javid sets new tone for student immigration
The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid has recently unveiled a softer, more sensible approach towards student immigration in the UK. The move, which goes directly against the hostile environment policy pioneered by Theresa May will see regulations which prevent overseas students, who have completed studies in the UK, from working in the country for more than six months loosened. Javid, it seems, is keen to welcome those who have received a quality education within our universities into our workforce.
The announcement was made at an event organised by the thinktank, British Future. Javid said that there was no need for us to turn away those who are in receipt of quality education from our higher learning establishments because of arbitrary reasons. He added that as a country we should be more welcoming to the skills and talents that foreign students can add to our workforce. Since Javid is in the race to be the next leader of the Conservative party, it would be easy to criticise this announcement as some form of a power grab. The move will, at least, however, make it easier for overseas students to settle in the country if they so wish.
Javid also reiterated his point through an article in the Financial Times. In that newspaper, he said that we were losing out by sending some of the brightest and most enterprising students from around the world straight back to their home country. He admitted that in doing so, we were missing out on the skills that they can bring into our economy. The move has been applauded by the former universities minister Jo Johnson, who is campaigning to have the amount of time that a student can stay and work in the country from 6 months to 2 years.
During his speech at the British Future event, Javid also reiterated his plan to scrap the target on UK immigration that was originally instigated by Theresa May. The target, which was set up to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands has never been met anyway and Javid believes that we should work towards a system that allows us to keep up with the needs of the country. It seems that, finally, common sense is starting to prevail within the Home Office, it will be interesting to see how far it can go.