UNITED KINGDOM. With Brexit fast approaching, prime minister Boris Johnson is showing a willingness to accommodate international students. As far as the PM is concerned, students may stay in the United Kingdom for up to two years after graduation, allowing them the opportunity to find a job.
The rule will apply to foreign students planning to enrol in a degree programme at Bachelor’s level or higher from next year on, reports the BBC. The educational institutions that these students are enrolled at are responsible for ensuring immigration checks have been conducted and documented. How many students stay after graduation and the type of job they eventually get is ultimately unimportant.
Back in 2016, there were plans to more strictly define the requirements. The public’s fear at the time centred on the negative effects of immigration, and worst-case scenarios in which international students steal jobs away from British people were widely discussed. The government decided to substantially reduce the number of international students (last year approximately 450,000 were enrolled at British universities).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to take a different approach. He has decided to reverse the 2012 regulation forcing international students to leave within four months of graduation. According to Mr Johnson, the amendment would “unlock the potential of students” and encourage them to find work in the United Kingdom.
Considering the current uncertainty due to Brexit, the question is whether international students are even interested in staying in the UK. On the whole, British universities greatly fear the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. This nightmarish scenario is starting to appear more likely due to the fact that the final date for reaching an agreement with the European Union, 31 October, is fast approaching.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, overseas universities will no longer be able to access European research funding, and cooperation via European exchange programmes will cease. However, British students in the Netherlands on a grant will be allowed to complete their exchange programmes. It is still unclear what Brexit will mean for Dutch students in the United Kingdom after the academic year 2019/2020.
In the event that the United Kingdom and the European Union do arrive at a deal, everything will remain unchanged until 31 December 2020. What happens next depends on negotiations.
HOP, Melanie Zierse