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UK Impose Restrictions on International Students and Family Members

Rishi Sunak

According to 10 Downing Street, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is mulling a ban on international students who are seeking “poor quality” degrees from coming to the UK with dependents.

The spokeswoman for the Prime Minister stated that a ban is really being thought about as a way to reduce the high number of international students who move to the UK with dependents for the duration of their studies.

The spokeswoman for Mr. Sunak stated, “We’re considering all possibilities to ensure that the immigration system is effective, and that does involve looking at the issue of student dependents and subpar degrees.”

The ban was under consideration after net immigration to the UK hit a historic high of 504,000 immigrants as of June 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the spokesman failed to elaborate on the “poor quality” degrees.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, disagreed, claiming that immigration was essential for economic expansion. He said that in order to reduce migration in a way that doesn’t affect the economy, the country must create “a long-term plan.”

Former home secretary Suella Braverman, who resigned in October after receiving an official message through her personal mail, had previously expressed concerns about restricting the ability of international students to “bring in family members who can piggyback on their student visa” and “propping up, frankly, substandard courses in inadequate institutions.”

Another authority on immigration issues cautioned that some universities that heavily relied on the high tuition of international students to survive might fail.

Meanwhile, Professor Brian Bell, the head of the government’s Migration Advisory Committee, warned that if the UK decided to forbid international students, it would have serious repercussions.

According to Mr. Bell, “most universities for most courses lose money on teaching British students and mitigate that loss by charging more for international students.”

“I’m not sure how the university continues to exist if you shut down the international route.”

Ivy league colleges like Cambridge and Oxford, according to Mr. Bell, could survive the prohibition, but the future of lesser universities is dismal.

The professor questioned, “What about Newcastle, what about the north-east, the north-west, and Scotland?”

He also warned that in order to make up for the fees lost from international students, British students could have to pay higher tuition.

International students paid tuition fees to UK universities totaling £9.95 billion between the 2020–2021 academic year, according to a research by The Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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