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Scotland’s publically funded colleges support re-introduction of post study work visa in UK

Posted on October 14, 2015
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A call for the re-introduction of the post study work visa has seen a massive build up across Scotland which will specifically help Indian students wanting to study in the UK.

A statement of support for reintroducing the visa to Scotland has gathered 257 signatures, including all 25 of Scotland’s publically funded colleges, the sector body Colleges Scotland, Universities Scotland, the representative body for Scotland’s 19 Higher Education Institutions and representatives from 64 businesses.

The move comes just before the first full meeting of the cross party steering group on post study work, which is examining ways to bring a post study route to Scotland.

The UK Tier 1 (Post-study Work) visa was abolished by the UK government in April 2012 which has led to a 50% dip in Indian students visiting British universities for higher education.

The number of new entrants to Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from India fell by 63% between 2010-11 and 2013-14.

At present, over 2000 Indian students study across Scotland.

A study by Strathclyde University estimated that international students contribute £188 million to universities in Scotland directly, with a further £321m to the wider Scottish economy.

Scotland’s minister for Europe and international development Humza Yousaf said the Scottish government will continue to push Westminster to reintroduce the visa, “despite their disappointing lack of engagement on the issue”. “We have been working for a return of the post study work route to allow talented students to remain and contribute to the Scottish economy for several months, but have seen a disappointing lack of engagement from UK government. Signatories from all of Scotland’s colleges have backed our statement of support,” Yousaf said.

In an exclusive interview to TOI, Yousaf had said Scotland pioneered the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Scheme visa in 2006 which enabled students from Scottish institutions to remain in Scotland for two years to work and gain further experience.

This scheme ran from 2005 to 2008, when it was subsumed into the UK-wide Tier 1 (Post-study Work) visa.

Yousaf told TOI “Scotland needs immigration. It needs bright students from India to come and study in its 19 world class universities and then stay back and work to help develop its economy. Scotland’s population is rapidly ageing and hence leading to an acute shortage of skilled workers. We need bright immigrants from India to fill in”.

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