Javid wants overseas students to leave UK after graduation

Business secretary answers ‘no’ when asked if non-EU students should be allowed to stay on for work post-graduation

July 10, 2015

Sajid Javid, the business secretary, wants to “break the link” between overseas students coming to study in the UK and staying on to work after graduation.

Mr Javid, who is in charge of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is responsible for higher education, made the comments this morning in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The government’s decision to abolish the post-study work visa in 2012 is seen by universities as being a deterrent to non-European Union students considering coming to the UK, and as a particular factor in the decline in Indian student recruitment.

Mr Javid was asked if he would reverse government policy to allow overseas students to stay on after graduation.

“I think what we need to make sure, and we do have this, is that our immigration system allows those from abroad that want to come to Britain to study in our world-class universities, our fantastic colleges, to come here,” he said.

The interviewer, Justin Webb, then asked: “And stay on?”

“No,” replied Mr Javid. “But we’ve also got to have a system that doesn’t allow any abuse where people are using the right to study as a way to achieve settlement in Britain.

“So it shouldn’t be about settlement. We’ve got to break the link and make sure it’s focused on people who want to study and then, once they’ve had their studies and completed that, then they leave.”

Mr Javid’s interview was to discuss the government’s productivity plan, to be published later today.

Jo Johnson, the universities and science minister who is a colleague of Mr Javid’s in BIS, co-authored a 2012 Financial Times article, published shortly after the scrapping of post-study work visas, that said the UK’s international competitors in the overseas student market such as the US, Australia and Canada “take a smarter approach to post-study work”.

Mr Johnson’s article added: “Students value this highly (partly because it enables them to start paying off student loans), and will invest their human capital elsewhere if [post-study work] is not available.”

john.morgan@tesglobal.com

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 6 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

Reader's comments (1)

For a supposedly business-focused government to set their face so publicly against any prospect of international students' finding work in the UK is perverse and counter-productive. Our international HE competitors will read Javid's latest remarks with glee.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote

Portrait montage of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

From Donald Trump to Brexit, John Morgan considers the challenges of a new international political climate