Future UK Immigration Policy and the Student Visa System

The UK currently welcomes international students with no limit on their numbers. The UK Government has an ambition to increase the number of higher education students who choose to study here. Numbers of Tier 4 applications, particularly within Higher Education, are rising, and there was a 10% increase in the year up to March 2019.

In engaging with the Home Office to shape the UK’s future immigration system together with our members and partners at Scottish Enterprise, we want to understand how the current study visa system (Tier 4) is used and how this might change with the implementation of a new system.

  • How have you engaged with the Tier 4 system, if at all? For example, are you a current Tier 4 sponsor, a potential future sponsor, or an employer of international students and/or graduates?
  • Approximately how many international students are currently enrolled at your institution or organisation?
  • How do you anticipate these volumes of EEA students/Non-EEA students changing in the future?
  • Is there a maximum number of international students your institution/organisation could recruit and supports? What is it?
  • How does this number compare to your current intake?
  • What proportion of the graduates that you recruit are: a) UK students, b) EEA students, c) International students? Does the way in which you recruit these cohorts differ?
  • What obstacles do you face in the recruitment of international students?
  • Approximately how soon after completing a course of study would a UK or EEA graduate take up employment with you? Does this length of time differ for international graduates of UK institutions?
  • Will the changes to the student visa route (increased post-study leave period and ability to apply for a Tier 2 visa 3 months before the end of a course of study) change the way in which you recruit international students?

Please email your views on any or all of these questions to Marc Strathie, Policy Analyst: marc.strathie@scdi.org.uk before COB Friday 23 August.