New visa rules
A new ‘Graduate’ visa route will open up opportunities for young people wishing to move to the UK to study. The British government announced in September that students from outside the UK and EU enrolled on undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD courses will be allowed to remain in the country for two years after their graduation.
This is a change in previous policy, announced in 2012, that students would only have four months after finishing their degrees to find work before they would be required to leave the country.
The new policy will apply to students who start courses from next year onwards, and there is no limit to the kinds of jobs students would be able to seek. There is also no cap on the number of international students who will be able to stay in the UK. The institutions awarding degrees to students under these visas must have a record of upholding immigration checks.
The brightest and the best
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said that the UK should be ‘open to the brightest and the best from across the globe’, encouraging them to ‘study and work’ in the United Kingdom.
At the moment, there are roughly 460,000 foreign university students in the UK. They often outperform UK students when it comes to post-university earnings. For example, research by the Higher Education Policy Institute shows that economics graduates earn £45,700 if they are from abroad, compared to an average of £37,900 for graduates from Britain.
The difference is even greater for mathematics graduates. Those from outside of Europe earn on average £48,600 five years after graduation, compared to those from the UK who earn on average £33,100.
This development will come as welcome news to Khoja communities all over the globe. Khoja students have for many years represented their communities at some of the best universities in the world. The UK is already the country with the highest student satisfaction, and the new graduate visa will make it an even more attractive location to come and study for Khoja students from countries such as India and Pakistan. Khojas from East Africa to North America will be able to stay in the UK after graduation with this visa, since it is open to students from all over the world.
This is good news for aspirational young Khojas – the UK is a good place for international students, and now a more welcoming place for Khoja students to find work after they graduate.