Evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee consultation on minimum salary thresholds for Tier 2 (skilled worker) visas

03 July 2015

We are concerned about the impact that an increase in the minimum salary thresholds for Tier 2 (skilled worker) visas could have for our universities; both in their ability to attract and retain international staff across a range of roles, and in the attractiveness of the UK for international students who may find it harder to switch from Tier 4 into Tier 2. 

Excellent international staff and students are indispensable for world-class universities and a thriving society, culture and economy. The ability to recruit the ‘brightest and best’ talent from overseas (as well as from within the UK) is essential to the future sustainability of research-intensive universities and to maintain the UK’s position on the global stage as a world-leader in research, innovation and education. 

Universities with the best academics are able to attract the best postgraduates and early career researchers who then play a critical role in advancing knowledge and educating future generations of students–they underpin the UK’s world-class reputation, attract overseas investment and help generate billions for the economy.

The current salary thresholds for PhD-level positions (researchers and teaching professionals) work well in enabling universities to recruit new entrants and experienced workers. Under the proposed changes, our universities would no longer be able to sponsor a number of international staff members under Tier 2 as they would have neither the ability nor the resources to increase salaries accordingly. Similarly, it would become much more difficult to recruit new staff, particularly at the experienced worker level, and for individuals to make the leap between a new entrant and an experienced worker salary. 

The proposed changes would very likely result in the UK losing talented international staff to overseas competitors. 

Evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee consultation on minimum salary thresholds for Tier 2 (skilled worker) visas

Related case studies