Scotland meet to work on reintroducing the post study work
Posted on June 27, 2015
LONDON: All of Scotland’s colleges have backed the government’s call for the return of a post-study work visa for Scotland. The move has also got backing from the National Indian Students Union UK.
A statement of support for reintroducing a post study work visa to Scotland has now gathered 160 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 across industry.
The news comes as representatives of all major political parties in Scotland meet for the first time to work on reintroducing the post study work route to Scotland. Liz Smith (Conservative), John Finnie (Independent), Claire Baker (Labour), and Liam McArthur (Liberal Democrats) met Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf ahead of a formal meeting of the Cross Party Steering Group later this month.
Yousaf said “Signatories from all of Scotland’s colleges have now backed our statement of support for the reintroduction of a post study work visa to Scotland. We have overwhelming support for this issue in Scotland, across all major political parties, industry and now throughout academia.”
A post-study work visa is an important lever for attracting the best international student talent, securing essential income streams, and allowing talented graduates to continue contributing to Scotland after their studies end”.
“Once again, I am calling on the UK Government to take Scotland’s needs into account and deliver on the Smith Commission recommendation in this area.”
Sanam Arora, president of the National Indian Students Union (UK) said “Changes to immigration rules since 2012 have led to a significant drop in the number of Indian students coming to the UK, a worrying trend given the advantages international students bring to the UK, both economically and otherwise. In the decision process of choosing a country to study in, the choice of post study work opportunities is a key factor, not because students want to settle abroad, but because of the desire and need to gain relevant work experience”.
The number of new entrants to Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from India fell by 63% between 2010-11 and 2013-14.
While students from the EU are entitled to free tuition at Scottish universities, those coming from further afield typically pay fees of between £10,000 and £20,000 a year, depending on their course. Those studying for medical degrees can pay around £30,000 a year. A study by Strathclyde University published in 2009 estimated that international students contribute £188 million to universities in Scotland directly, with a further £321m to the wider Scottish economy.
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