Growing the number of international students

22 July 2019

International students make an important contribution to research in our universities and the learning environment on our campuses. They bring social and economic benefits to local communities and soft power advantages to the UK. International graduates are also contributing to the UK’s knowledge economy, filling roles in sectors where the UK is experiencing skills shortages.

In recognition of this, international students have been placed at the heart of the Government’s International Education Strategy, which aims to increase the number of international higher education students in the UK to 600,000 a year by 2030.

This policy briefing sets out how Government can develop a globally competitive offer for international students to achieve this growth. Our priorities include:

  • Implementing a post-study work route that allows graduates to stay for at least 2-years after their studies
  • Setting any salary threshold for the skilled worker visa for new entrants no higher than £19,500
  • Ensuring a welcoming message to prospective students abroad
  • Improving student experience by streamlining the visa application process
  • Reforming immigration sponsorship to reduce administrative burden on sponsors and the Home Office.   


UK’s global share of international students

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