UK Considers Deporting International Students with Low Grades

United Kingdom Europe International Studies by Erudera News Dec 18, 2023

Young woman walking in the city center in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

International students in the United Kingdom risk being deported if they do not achieve high grades, media reports say.

According to a report by The Telegraph, the UK Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has said that international students on two-year graduate visas whose grades are low might be unable to continue residing in the UK.

The source reports that UK Home Secretary James Cleverly has tasked the Migration Advisory Committee with reassessing the graduate visa program as part of a five-point strategy to reduce net migration by 300,000.

Data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that net migration in the UK reached a record 745,000 in 2022, up from 184,000 in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, reports.

But, the latest ONS figures showed that net migration added 672,000 people to the UK population in the year ending June 2023, a 10 percent drop from the record high of 745,000 last year.

Over 98,000 students were granted two-year visas to stay in the UK after completing studies in June 2023, which was a significant increase of 42,000 or 74 percent from the previous year, according to the Telegraph’s report.

Brian Bell, chairman of the MAC, said university students are not required to achieve specific grades in their courses, and that’s an issue the committee wants to review in the graduate route.

“That’s the question we want to review in the graduate route to think about whether that’s sensible or whether you should have a rule that says you have to achieve a certain grade or a certain kind of achievement in your course,” told the British daily newspaper, adding that the committee will further investigate whether there should be additional restrictions for international students.

The former home secretary, Suella Braverman, previously proposed to reform the Graduate Visa route.

As part of efforts to reduce immigration numbers, Braverman proposed to reduce the number of international students in the United Kingdom. Under her proposals, international students were barred from bringing their families to the UK unless they enroll in postgraduate research courses.

Official data indicate that the UK issued nearly 500,000 visas to international students last year, a 23 percent increase from the previous year. Along with them, more than 135,000 dependents were also granted visas.

Indians accounted for nearly one-third of all sponsored visas issued in the UK in 2022, the largest number of all nationalities.

A total of 679,970 international students were studying at UK universities during the 2021/22 academic year. Of these, 120,140 were from the EU and 559,825 from other countries.

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