things are looking up non-EU students who wish to study in the UK. Quoting the Times, Legit.ng reported that recent statistics from the Home Office show a record number of 43,200 UK student visas have been approved for Nigerians in 2022, a huge increase of 415% compared to 2019. This is the largest increase in international student arrivals between 2019 and 2021.
The UK registered a total of 416,000 overseas students last year, an increase of more than half from 2019, just a year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Pakistan (255.9%) and India (164.1%) follow Nigeria in the biggest increase in UK student visas approved from 2019 to 2021, signaling a changing tide of UK immigration post Brexit .
According to the Times, IMigration experts said one of the factors behind the increase was the reintroduction of a post-study visa pathway, allowing graduates to stay in the UK for at least two years after graduation. of their degree.
“The introduction of a points-based immigration system opened up half of all jobs in the UK to foreign workers, lowering wage and skill thresholds for migrants,” the report said. Times. The addition of more skilled visa-eligible occupations to include jobs such as chef, mason, electrician, welder and healthcare worker – with caps removed in other visa routes – is also cited as a driver behind the new ones. arrivals.
Globally, less than 10% of the 239,987 work-related visas issued in 2021 went to EU citizens, and only 5% of student visas went to EU students.
Compensating for the loss of EU students: UK student visa approvals and the Graduate Route option
The introduction of the Graduate Route Visawhich gives international students in the UK the freedom to seek employment for up to two years after their studies, was cited as a major reason for the new influx of non-European students.
With the Graduate Route, students will not need a job offer to be eligible for the visa, which also applies to those who choose to be self-employed in the UK after graduation . Students can study part-time while working, enroll in language courses or any other study option that does not require sponsorship as part of the student pathway.
“Our exit from the EU has brought about the biggest change in immigration in decades. This fulfills a key commitment to regain control of our borders and to put in place an immigration system that works in our interest. national,” said Home Secretary Priti Patel, quoted in the report.
For EU students, restricted cross-border movement and the loss of home schooling status has prompted a number of students to seek opportunities elsewhere. According to a report by ApplyBoard, a recruitment platform based in Canada, more EU students flock to Canada in the aftermath of Brexit: Seven of the 10 fastest growing international student populations in Canada last year are EU citizens.
“European students who would previously have chosen to take advantage of reduced tuition fees at UK institutions are now broadening their search and looking for educational opportunities in Canada. While several UK schools continue to offer these rates to EU students, they may be skeptical of future tuition fee hikes or embittered by Brexit politics,” the report says.
The trend is consistent with fall in the number of EU students in British universities. Last year, UK universities reported a 50% drop in EU student enrolments, while UCAS, the UK’s centralized university application service, saw a 43% drop in enrollments. EU student applications for 2020.
“After Brexit, Cambridge University tripled its fees to £22,227 a year for EU law students,” Nigerian-German student Sarah Ojikutu previously told Study International.. Ojikutu was no longer qualified for home fee status when she enrolled and was in danger of losing her place at the prestigious university.
“I think tuition fees should be reduced for international students and we should also be eligible for student loans or financial support. The United States makes big profits by welcoming international students,” she said.