Stamp of approval for rational visa policies (2 of 3)

April 12, 2012

One of the few bright spots for international education in the UK last year was the introduction of the extended student visitor visa (ESVV), now under review by the government.

Although this visa, a ministerial concession, is purely for English language students, it has direct benefits for UK universities as it covers longer courses of six to 11 months, enabling students without prior language attainment to reach the B1 level required for points-based visas to study for degrees. Students prevented from studying English here who go to one of our competitor countries tend to stay there for higher education as well.

A survey of our member centres has found that the ESVV is fulfilling its purpose with no evidence of abuse. Around 85 per cent of students reached B1, 93 per cent subsequently applied for new courses and returned on new visas, and the refusal rate was just under 8 per cent - less than half of the threshold for highly trusted sponsor status.

Given this positive evidence, we have written to Damian Green, the immigration minister, asking for the ESVV to be made permanent. Without the ESVV, we risk not only preventing many genuine students from studying in the UK but also causing further damage to our world-class language centres and universities, at a time when competitors are only too keen to take our place as the international education destination of choice.

Tony Millns, Chief executive, English UK

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns