UK considers deportation of students with low grades

UK considers deportation of students with low grades

The UK Home Secretary has been asked to review the graduate visa as part of an action plan aimed at reducing net migration from record-high levels.

The United Kingdom Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has proposed that foreign students on two-year graduate visas who fail to score high grades may be thrown out of the country.

The UK is currently dealing with record-high levels of net migration, with a considerable amount of them traced to the graduate visa policy.

Reports say more than 98,000 students were granted two-year visas to remain in the UK after graduation in June 2023, an increase of 42,000 or 74% in just a year.

Baffled by the development, the MAC asked the UK Home Secretary, James Cleverly, to review the graduate visa as part of a five-point plan to reduce net migration by 300,000, per The Telegraph.

“There are fears that it is being used as a backdoor route to work in the UK, often in low-skilled jobs, or simply to stay for two years as there is no requirement to take up employment,” the paper reported.

The Chairman of MAC, Prof. Brian Bell, bemoaned a situation where there are no requirements mandating foreign students to get particular grades to earn the two-year graduate visa.

“There’s no requirement to get particular grades in your university course or anything like that.

“That’s the question we want to review in the graduate route to think about whether that’s sensible or whether you should have a rule that says you have to achieve a certain grade or a certain kind of achievement in your course,” Bell was quoted as saying.

He said his committee would probe whether there is a need for further restrictions that would only allow foreign students to stay in the UK if they went to certain universities or completed specified courses, adding that it could also be limited to certain types of jobs or activities.

“At the moment, there’s no restriction on what you can do. You can, if you’ve got the money, just sit around and do nothing in the UK for two years. You can also take a minimum wage job or you can take a very highly paid job,” he concluded.

For their part, a former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and the former immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, made a strong case for the scrapping or overhauling of the graduate visa amid concerns it was fuelling immigration and open to abuse.

Jenrick was quoted in an article in The Telegraph last week saying, “The graduate route is ripe for comprehensive reform. Too many universities have fallen into the migration, rather than education business, and are marketing low grade, short courses as a backdoor to life in the UK.”


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