Worrying moves by UK government on post study visas

While CX was in Canada, it was announced that the UK government is planning to send non-EU students home after they have completed their studies rather than giving them the opportunity to find work and apply for a new visa while they're here.

CX is obviously strongly opposed to this move and continues to support the reinstatement of the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa as proposed in our report "How to Solve a Problem like a Visa." In addition we call for Commonwealth countries to be restored to the Youth Mobility Visa.

What is particularly worrying about this new announcement is that the number of non-EU students is already falling dramatically. The numbers who arrived in the year ending December 2014, was down 25% compared to just four years previously.

Even more worrying is that a large percentage of this fall is due to a reduction in Commonwealth students coming to study in the UK. This number has fallen by nearly 60% in the same period, the lowest year end figure since 2005.

By way of comparison, EU citizens coming to the UK to study has actually seen a small increase since 2010, going up by 3,000.

The UK needs an influx of young, talented, and bright workers and what better place to find them than among the graduates of the UK's world-beating universities?

The point was made well by James Dyson who responded to the proposals here.

However we would (as you might expect) suggest that the Commonwealth should be top of the list for finding potential workers.

The extensive speaking of English across much of the Commonwealth, the use of similar (and often identical) legal and accounting practices, and the cultural ties we share, provide several obvious advantages but one that is often overlooked is the extremely youthful population.

60% of the 2.3 billion population of the Commonwealth are under 30 years of age. In fact one in twelve people alive right now is an Indian aged under 27.

Compare this to England and the figure is almost exactly reversed. 63% of our population is over 30 years of age. Our median age is now 40 years old and is expected to rise continuously for at least the next 20 years.

Commenting on this, CX Director Ralph Buckle said:

"Britain is facing a dangerously ageing population with a spiraling effect on national debt as the burden on state pensions and the NHS only increases.

We need to be seeking out young bright graduates to work here, not driving them away. The Commonwealth would be the perfect place to start.

Contrary to what is often claimed, it looks like British pensioners will be the ones stretching the welfare state in the future, not migrant workers."

All figures are sourced from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

CX is available for comment and interviews. Details of how to get in touch are here.