Wednesday, June 9, 2010

UK MPs seek scrapping of new student visa rules

London: British MPs have asked the government to scrap the new immigration rules that make it mandatory for students from India and other non-EU countries to have an intermediate level of English before coming to the UK to study the language.

The rules, put in place by the previous labour government, raised the entry level criteria for international students keen to study English in Britain.
The rules were mainly drawn up to deter bogus students who used the student visas to enter the UK and stay on. In an Early Day Motion, the MPs, led by Stephen Lloyd (Liberal Democrats), said the rules were “rushed and flawed” and added that the rules would discourage an estimated 100,000 high fee-paying international students from coming to the UK.
The motion says that the rules threaten an important sector of the UK economy and are damaging the country’s standing as a world leader in education.
The University of Cambridge, which is the largest provider of English language qualifications through its ESOL examinations, has welcomed the motion.
Michael Milanovic, CEO of University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, said: “We hope that this motion will provide the impetus to re-examine the criteria for student visas so that they are fair to everyone.
There needs to be a robust system that doesn’t discriminate against legitimate students but also prevents people coming to live and work in the UK by pretending to be students.”
The motion quotes English UK, the professional organisation of English language education, as estimating that 400 million pounds and 3,400 jobs will be lost from the teaching sector and 1 billion pounds from the university sector due to the new rules.PTI

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