The All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) for International Students has written to the UK Cabinet, asking it to make decisive changes that would unlock untold potential in the country’s education exports sector.
Lord Karan Bilimoria and Paul Blomfield, joint head honchos of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), recently wrote a letter to six high profile government officials – including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Education Minister Gillian Keegan and Home Secretary Suella Braverman. The co-chairs proposed a set of innovative recommendations, advocating for immigration reform and increased collaboration among departments to resolve the issue.
Leading figures in UK higher education called for a targeted effort to create a more sustainable future for international students studying in the Uk.
Highlighted below are some of the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s Suggestions:
Home Office Support
To ensure that the IES is a success, departments across government must work together. The Department of International Trade and Education have already begun collaborating closely but for full integration, Home Office involvement would be essential.
UK sector stakeholders had previously raised concerns that the Home Office was taking an unconventional approach to promoting international education in the country. They said: The key to stay ahead of the competition is Home Office to ensure that student visa services remain attractive for English-speaking markets.
Streamlined Immigration Operations
To ensure efficient operations and immigration security, the IES is streamlining UKVI processes digitally by introducing e-gates for more nationalities. This will help reduce time spent at borders while maintaining a safe environment for all!
The government and student body could benefit from a single visa that allows students to easily study in their field of choice; whether it be starting school, undergraduate, or pursuing postgraduate degrees. This new approach would not only lighten the load on both entities but also create an enriching learning environment.
New Single-Pathway Student Visa
London Higher has proposed a simple, streamlined visa process that would make it easier for international students to progress from their undergraduate studies in the capital to postgraduate qualifications. Universities UK also called out for researchers’ visas fees to match those of competitors overseas and incentivize even more talented minds flocking into London.
Ensure Businesses are Aware of the Graduate Visa
UK stakeholders recently voiced the need for action to address a puzzling awareness gap concerning the new graduate visa. According to the APPG, The Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy could help bridge this knowledge divide by making sure businesses are aware of their options when providing opportunities to international students after graduation.
Diversify International Students
UK universities welcomed a record-breaking 679,970 international students in 2021/22. Now the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) said that sustainable target for growth should include a commitment to diversifying the international students who come to the UK, where they come from and what they study”.
International Students Experience
In order to ensure that international students have a positive experience studying in the country, there is an appeal for organizations to shift their focus towards creating greater awareness surrounding visas and border crossings as well as life before, during and after study.
Focus on Technical Studies & Others
This group recognizes the importance of more than just higher-education, and is calling for a greater emphasis to be put on various avenues of learning. This includes technical studies, further education opportunities, English language instruction through pathways sector programs as well as professional education courses and independent/boarding schools.
International Students as Temporary Migrants
The recent policy called for a new treatment of international students when it comes to the net migration figures. Instead of counting them as permanent migrants, this viewpoint acknowledged that most will eventually return home after their studies and should be seen only as temporary residents in the country.
What this Means for Prospective Nigerian Students
For both existing and potential Nigerian students, the newly-suggested policies will have a substantial impact. It is important to consider how these changes could affect you in particular – each situation may be unique!
Nigerian students have reason to celebrate! To ensure greater job prospects, a new program is now in place granting UK graduate visas which could provide an exciting journey of opportunity. This innovative idea will allow recent graduates more time and resources to find employment while their student visas are still valid in the United Kingdom.
To create more options for students who wish to pursue alternative avenues of education, the UK is offering expanded access to technical studies, further programs and English language instruction. Additionally, Immigration operations have been reorganized into a single-pathway student visa system which will make it much easier for undergraduates wishing to continue their higher eduation pursuits after graduation.