Around Christmas, it was reported that the Home Secretary proposed changing the immigration rules so that overseas students at UK universities who wanted to stay on to work would have to return home after graduation and apply from outside the UK.
It is widely acknowledged that the presence of overseas students is important. Their fees represent considerable income for the universities, but perhaps more significant is whether they feel welcomed by this country and how, as a consequence, their home countries regard the UK.
There are various schemes which allow new graduates to stay on: for post-graduate study, as an entrepreneur, for professional training and to take up employment in jobs requiring higher skills. For these, the graduate has to earn a minimum amount (£20,500 or more depending on the job) and the employer does not have to demonstrate the job has been advertised.
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