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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride