Foreign students planning to study in Britain will have to meet stricter criteria under new rules introduced by the Home Office in a crackdown on bogus students and colleges.
The Home Office published proposals for much tighter rules for foreign students and the universities and colleges giving admission to them under the new points based system.
The only concession was to allow students to work for two years instead of one as per the present rule after finishing studies. This means they can earn in pounds for two years. This two-year concession will benefit Indian students as they have to pay back loans in pounds taken for tuition fee. On an average, a student spends £9,000 as tuition fee and £8,500 as living costs per year.
Most companies refuse to take them as they are transitory and even those who employ them try to pay much less than the normal salaries. “But with two years work, we may save enough to at least pay a sizeable amount of our loans,” said a final-year BA honours student from Delhi.
Universities and colleges recruiting overseas students for courses longer than six months must have a licence and if any institution fails to comply, it faces being blacklisted. They must keep detailed records of their overseas students, telling the Home Office if they miss 10 lectures in a row or defer their studies.
Visiting students will also be required to be sponsored by a licensed institution and provide proof they can financially support themselves and their families. “All those who come to Britain must play by the rules,” said UK Border and Immigration Minister Liam Byrne.
Each year, international students contribute £2.5 billion (approximately Rs 2,09,000 crore) to the UK economy in tuition fees alone. The number of students from India stands at around 25,000 — much more than any other country. But as the arrival of students from China has dropped by two per cent, the number of Indian students has soared by seven per cent.