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Student Visas

Volume 513: debated on Thursday 8 July 2010

The Petition of residents of Cambridge (English UK & EFL Organisations),

Declares that the current review of the Tier 4 points based system for Student Visas may result in many fewer legitimate students travelling to the UK to learn English. Further declares that this will lead to the closure of many language schools and reduce the number of foreign students that go into higher education in the United Kingdom.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government whilst recognising the importance of Immigration Control to proceed in a way that does not disadvantage English language schools

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Official Report, 8 April 2010; Vol. 508, c. 48P.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for the Home Department:

As set out in “The Coalition: our programme for government”, we will introduce new measures to minimise abuse of the immigration system, including via student routes. This Government are committed to attracting the brightest and the best students to the United Kingdom and we are determined to encourage legitimate students to come to here to study, whether under Tier 4, the student tier of the Points Based System (PBS), or via the student visitor category.

We cannot ignore the fact the English language industry contributes millions of pounds to Britain’s economy every year, but nor can we ignore the risk posed by those economic migrants who seek to exploit Tier 4.

We are, however, making it a priority to strengthen the student tier of the PBS to ensure that it is not open to abuse and we will make sure that any future changes address the risk of abuse in a balanced and targeted manner.