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Universities could lose the right to hire foreign students

Universities will have to meet new standards for foreign students or have their licenses to accept them revoked. The “basic” rules dictate that they must have a visa denial rate for foreign student applicants of less than 10 percent, at least 90 percent show up to enroll, and more than 85 percent complete their courses.

Students are expected to provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to pay outstanding course fees and support themselves. They will increase from the current level of £1,334 for students in London and £1,023 for students outside London.

The Government said it was reviewing English language tests to ensure that “all international students are equipped with the skills to understand their course materials, otherwise they should not expect a place at a UK university”.

Ministers will crack down on universities that allow students to do all their studies abroad simply to benefit later from job opportunities in the UK. The new rules will require students to spend most of their time physically at the university.

A new registration scheme for education agents will be introduced after it emerged they were recruiting overseas students with much lower qualifications than those required of UK applicants.

A newspaper undercover investigation has found that wealthy foreign teenagers can gain access to highly competitive careers with just a handful of Cs at GCSE. The same degree courses require British students to achieve an A or A* at A-level.

Other tougher options have been shelved, but could still be introduced if new measures fail to root out abuses. These include eliminating the postgraduate visa, reducing it to one year, limiting it to high-performing universities or restricting it to economically valuable careers such as science and engineering.

The Government also remains concerned that the visa does not attract the highest earners who contribute to our economy.

Analysis by HMRC and the Home Office showed that more than a quarter of graduate visa holders were not in PAYE employment at any time during the financial year ending 2023. Of those who were, the majority (63 percent) were not. in PAYE employment all year round.

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