Visas and scholarships

November 12, 2009

I thought that Melanie Newman's article "A funny sort of welcome" (29 October) did an excellent job of highlighting many issues around the new visa system. "A parent's story" particularly rang true since I have seen the same issue with a new PhD student who, despite an official offer of a full fees and maintenance scholarship, still had to prove that he had enough money in his bank account to cover the majority of his first year here.

While the intention may be to ensure that we "welcome" only those who already have funds of their own, charitable foundations generally aim to support those with ability but without the means to study in the UK.

We need a mechanism by which genuine recipients of UK scholarships can be logged so that the funds they will receive on arrival here count towards the points they need for their visa.

Christopher M. Thomas, Professor of molecular genetics, University of Birmingham.

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