Universities are set to exploit relaxed work rules for foreign students when recruiting.
To meet competition from the United States and Australia, the government has promised to streamline visa and work permit arrangements for overseas students. Overseas students may work up to 20 hours a week in term-time and full-time in vacations. They need permission from Jobcentres, and the work they can do is limited.
The new rules do away with Jobcentre clearance. International students can take part-time work, "in the gift of" their institution, and sandwich course students no longer require a work permit.
"My guess is that many universities will use this to increase the number of postgraduates and research students from overseas," said Brian Hipkin, the dean of students at the Hendon campus of Middlesex University.
A spokesman for the National Union of Students said: "Lessening the restrictions on work permits on overseas students is a fantastic step forward because they have just the same rights as home-based students."