CentreForum publishes policy paper critical of Government’s policies on student visas

CentreForum, the Lib Dem aligned think-tank, has published a new policy paper “Tier 4 fears: Why Government Student Visa Proposals Are Unfair”.

After reviewing UK government’s proposed changes to the Tier 4 student visa system ahead of changes due to be made this month, the policy paper sets out recommendations to mitigate what CentreForum views as unfair immigration rules.

Current plans are to remove the right for non-EU international students studying at private colleges to work; prospective students will not be given working rights if they choose to study a degree designed and marketed by a university but taught at a private college. International students at public colleges and universities will still be allowed to work part-time.

This means that private HE colleges will be put at a major disadvantage at a time when the government is seeking to encourage greater diversity of provision and increased competition in higher education. High quality private sector colleges have proved they can provide a low cost solution for expanding higher education by working closely with UK universities. However, many private sector colleges fear that the government’s plans could force them to close down in the next 12-18 months.

In the paper, CentreForum sets out minor changes to government’s proposals which it believes will ensure that students who want to come to the UK to study are not deterred by the restrictive student visa system proposed.

You can download/view the CentreForum paper here (CentreForum website).