U.K. Proposes Tiered Visa Plan for Foreign Students

October 5, 2016

The U.K. cabinet secretary in charge of immigration on Tuesday proposed a two-tiered system for international student visas, The Guardian reported. Amber Rudd raised the possibility of a visa system with differential rules depending on the quality of a student's university or program as part of a speech on reducing immigration levels.

“I’m passionately committed to making sure our world-leading institutions can attract the brightest and the best. But a student immigration system that treats every student and university as equal only punishes those we should want to help. So our consultation will ask what more can we do to support our best universities -- and those that stick to the rules -- to attract the best talent … while looking at tougher rules for students on lower-quality courses," Rudd said.

The co-chair of an all-party parliamentary group on international students and a member of the opposing Labour Party, Paul Blomfield, blasted Rudd’s proposals as “spectacularly ill informed” and “an act of madness.” Describing education as one of the U.K.'s “most successful export industries,” Blomfield said, “The only people cheering today’s announcement will be our competitors.”

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