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NUS Scotland welcomes calls for reintroduction of post study work visa

Thursday 03-03-2016 - 14:34
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NUS Scotland has today welcomed the final report of the cross-party steering group on the reintroduction of post-study work visas for international students.

The group, chaired by Humza Yousaf, and with representation from every political party in the Scottish Parliament, students, trade unions, business and education, has made a clear and compelling argument for the introduction of post-study work visas in Scotland, which was a cross-party recommendation of the Smith Commission.

The group’s report highlights the economic and social value for its reintroduction; the benefits for students, universities, and colleges; and details clear recommendations for how it should operate, including a number of progressive improvements on previous schemes. NUS Scotland has long been campaigning for its reintroduction, and is urging the UK Government to engage positively with the Scottish Government, as recommended by the Smith Commission, and act on the clear, cross-party consensus that exists.

Commenting, Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland President, said:
“NUS Scotland welcomes the publication of today’s report from the Post Study Work steering group, which joins the growing body of evidence and calls for the reintroduction of post-study work visas for international students in Scotland. This is an issue that NUS Scotland has long campaigned on, and we’ve been proud to play a role in shaping the report, as part of this working group and its predecessor. Against a consistently negative and damaging rhetoric that exists elsewhere when we discuss immigration, Scotland has reached a consensus amongst the education sector, representatives from the business world and trade unions, and among every party represented in Holyrood, for the reintroduction of post-study work visas visa.”

“We know that international students not only enrich the experience of students at our universities and colleges, but also bring huge cultural, economic, and educational benefits to the wider Scottish society, and economy, during their studies and after graduating. It’s absolutely counterintuitive that, as it stands, we ask people to leave the country as soon as they’ve graduated, instead of providing opportunities for them remain and use their talent to benefit the country. It’s positive to see the report includes areas that NUS Scotland has been calling for which go above and beyond previous post study work visas. In particular, the recommendation to include college graduates in the visa is a clear acknowledgement of the skills these courses provide our graduates, and the contribution they make to society. It’s also encouraging to see the report propose a move away from the expectation on graduate migrants to have unrealistic sums of money in their bank account, a move which ensures a graduate’s right to stay is based on their skills and experience, rather than their bank balance. It’s absolutely right that we recognise the skills, experience and dedication these students show by staying and contributing, in recommending any work period counts towards residency requirements.” 

“This report follows consistent calls for the reintroduction of the Post Study Work Visa in Scotland. Most importantly it was a clear, and cross-party, recommendation of the Smith Commission. The UK Government must honour that agreement and engage positively with Scotland to see the return of these visas. The breadth of support for the reintroduction of the visa just highlights how important this issue is for Scotland; we know Scotland’s education system attracts some of the world’s best talent, now we want to let them stay here and contribute to the country they’ve grown to call home. This is a consensus that the UK Government absolutely cannot, and should not, ignore.”

The report can be accessed here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/03/5056

 

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