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Changes to immigration regulations to protect international students

Wednesday 01-04-2015 - 10:42

NUS today celebrated an announcement regarding some huge changes to how international students will be protected within the immigration regulations.

A number of measures were announced which will help secure international student protections, including the following:

  • International students at revoked universities will now, in most cases, be allowed to complete their studies at that institution.
  • A commitment from the Home Office to work with institutions at risk, before revoking their licence.
  • Some revoked institutions will not be able to re-apply for a license for two years to protect international students from risky institutions.
  • Institutions must have a two year track record of teaching domestic students before they can get a licence recruit international students.

In 2012, NUS first demanded that international students studying in the UK should be protected when their university or college loses their licence to sponsor international students. Over the past three years students' unions have lobbied, campaigned and protested to ensure that international students had the right to finish their studies without losing thousands of pounds and having to change sponsor. Over the past nine months Shreya Paudel, NUS’ International Students’ Officer, has worked with many of students to fight for the rights of international students.

We did it before and we can do it again. Your hard work had led to the biggest positive shift in immigration policy for international students since the introduction of the current system in 2010.  It means that right now politicians are listening to you when you say that the way we treat our international students is unfair and unjust. Keep up the pressure.  With just five weeks to go before the General Election, we can push for full protection for international students by getting the parties to agree to a financial protection scheme.

Shreya Paudel, NUS international students’ officer, said: 'This is an important first step to recognising the unacceptable levels of risk that international students face in the current immigration system.  Finally government are listing to the thousands of students who just want to finish the courses they came for. However, too many students are left out of this concession and over 12,000 of these students have lost thousands of pounds in 2014 alone in a system which protects sponsors over students. Private and FE college students are still unprotected and some university students will still face risk in this new system.

We need all political parties to look at a mandatory financial protection scheme as a matter of moral responsibility to protect international students in the UK, who do not have this safety net to fall into.  A protection scheme would also protect students who are victims of other organisational failures or conflict in their home country. This will not take any extra resource from the public purse, but will be asking the universities and colleges  toshow a duty of care to the students they bring to the UK.  When candidates come knocking on your door this year – ask them to protect international students.'

Find out more about our call for an international student protection scheme here.

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