The UK government is considering stricter regulations for international students hoping to stay on two-year graduate visas.
The Committee may bar foreign students on two-year graduate visas who fail to achieve high grades from staying in the UK.
The graduate visa scheme has seen a dramatic surge in recent years, with over 98,000 students granted extensions in the year to June 2023, a 74% increase from the previous year.
However, concerns have emerged about its potential misuse as a backdoor route to low-skilled jobs or simply a two-year stay in the UK, given the current lack of employment requirements.
“There are fears that it is being used as a backdoor route to work in the UK, often in low-skilled jobs, or simply to stay for two years as there is no requirement to take up employment,” it said.
The Chairman of the MAC, Professor Brian Bell, highlighted the absence of academic performance benchmarks in the existing visa criteria.
He stated, “There’s no requirement to get particular grades in your university course… That’s the question we want to review.”
Bell said the committee will explore introducing minimum grade thresholds or specific course achievements as potential eligibility factors.