Home / News / World /  UK study dreams may turn sour, Rishi Sunak mulling stricter laws

Getting admission to UK universities might get tougher for foreign students as Rishi Sunak government is planning for strong measures to bring down the net migration from a record level. As per reports, the UK government might even consider putting a ban on foreign students, except those who are accepted by the top universities.

New data showed net migration in the country rose to an estimated record of 504,000 in the year to June. Owing to the rise, Sunak's spokesperson expressed, “The prime minister is fully committed to bringing overall numbers down."

"We're considering all options to make sure the immigration system is delivering, and that does include looking at the issue of student dependents and low-quality degrees," the official added.

Apart from factors like people arriving for humanitarian protections, such as those coming from Ukraine, the influx of international students is a huge contributor to the sudden rise.

Citing the same, an Office of National Statistics report said, “Migration from non-EU countries, specifically students, is driving this rise. With the lifting of travel restrictions in 2021, more students arrived in the UK after studying remotely during the coronavirus pandemic."

ONS data further showed, in the YE June 2022, people arriving on study visas accounted for the largest proportion (39%) of long-term immigration of non-EU nationals at 277,000.

However, if a ban on foreign students is implemented, then the most hard hit would be Indian students. ONS revealed that Indian students have for the first time overtaken Chinese as the largest group of foreign students studying in the UK with a massive 273% hike in visas granted over the past few years.

This comes days after the Sunak government gave a go-ahead to the new youth mobility partnership scheme that offer as many as 3,000 visas to young professionals from India to live and work in the UK each year.

Under the new scheme, as many as 3000 young Indian professionals will be offered visas every year to stay and work in the country for up to two years. The reciprocal scheme will also involve British nationals living and working in India.

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