In the UK, members of the higher education sector are highly concerned about the government’s strict control on immigration of international students. Another barrier that does not let international students grow is the ongoing competition among other competent countries like Australia.
Although the government wants to cut off immigration, It still is thriving for the significant growth of International students for the sake of earnings and to maintain an influential power around the globe.
Irrespective of this strict control, the UK aims to enrol about 600,000 International students by 2030. Currently, they have 460,000 of them.
The pro-vice-chancellor of Durham University, Claire O’Malley, says that the competition of higher education is real. They should hold meetings in this regard to help it boost up.
Wei Yuan Wang is an International student who studied aerospace engineering from Sheffield University. He is delighted with the quality of education received there. However, he would not be able to practically implement his skills in the UK after the completion of the degree. He complains about the competitive environment towards international students. He says that employers will not hire him.
After the Brexit, the government has imposed a high fee structure on EU students.
The education secretary, Damian Hinds, says that after all these confusions, they are still getting a mass number of International students.
The Universities and Colleges Admission Services (UCAS) revealed that, in a year, out of 561,000 students, 63,000 were the non-EU students, whereas EU applicants were only 44,000.
James Pitman, director of the UK and Europe of Study Group says that they are seeing a high increment rate for International students. He works in charge of enrolling International students for Pre-university courses for the sake of earnings.
Now, the situation is changing because of the weakness of British money. It has been observed a falling rate in non-EU students as well. The trend almost fell to 54% from 60% last year.
The high demand for International students has released universities from financial pressure because International students charged a high fee. Political forces criticize universities for charging a fee to domestic students and rising debts form building the program.
As the number of domestic and EU students fail to fulfil the revenue, so it is collected from International students. They have charged two or more times the regular students. They bring about £9,250 per year.
This high fee structure for international students may lower the rate of their enrolment as well, just like EU students. As the date for Brexit approaches, the situation is worsening. Universities, for the very last time now, has set fee for EU students equal to that of domestic students.
Universities are now responding to enrol more non-EU students. Coventry University is offering courses starting in February to appeal to other countries. Durham University is also making a global-profile to attract International students.
Professor O’Malley says that countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, and Germany are their competitors. They should be careful of them. The UK is now targeting China because of more non-EU students there.
She believes that the most problematic factor that stops the growth of international students is the strict control on immigration. In 2012, students were allowed to live for two years in the country to work after the completion of their degrees, but now the government has reduced the time to only four months. Whereas other competent countries like Australia and China let their qualified students live in the country for work.
Mr Pitman of Study Group considered the immigration control very harmful, but he is optimistic also because the government has extended post-study work period to six months now.