Universities in the United Kingdom have rejected the new immigration policy that would no longer allow international students bring family members with them from 2024.
In a statement on Tuesday, the UK International (UUK), a body of universities across the UK, said that the policy was a threat to the country’s economy and requested the government to consider the issues.
The new policy, which was intended to tame the influx of immigrants, had stated that international students (except PhD and research scholars) would no longer be able to bring family members with them starting in 2024 and that international students would be stopped from switching from the student visa route to a work visa until their studies have been completed.
The UUK director, Jamie Arrowsmith, said “International students make an invaluable contribution to our universities and to the UK’s economy. Building on the government’s explicit commitments and ambitions, which were clearly set out in the international education strategy, we have seen significant growth since 2019.”
“Our research shows that international students make a huge economic contribution to the UK, with a single cohort delivering a total benefit of £41.9 billion.”
“We also know that the public is overwhelmingly supportive of the international students we attract – just nine percent of people think we should be discouraging international students from choosing the UK.”
Mr Arrowsmith added, “while the vast majority of students will be unaffected by proposals that limit the ability to be accompanied by dependents, more information is needed on the programmes that are in scope before a proper assessment of the impact can be made.
“We, therefore, urge the government to work with the sector to limit and monitor the impact on particular groups of students – and on universities, which are already under serious financial pressures. The review process that has been announced must consider these issues.”