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UK to introduce mandatory English tests for migrant graduates to tighten immigration controls 

1716447488 United Kingdom

The UK government is set to revise the Graduate Route scheme by introducing mandatory annual English tests for migrant graduates, aiming to ensure that only highly proficient English speakers remain in the country. 

This is part of broader efforts to tighten immigration controls and maintain high educational standards. 

Under the new policy, the Graduate Visa Route, which allows international students to work in the UK for two years post-graduation, will now include stricter requirements to assess English language proficiency annually. 


  • Other immigration control measures 

Also, universities and colleges with high dropout rates among international students will face penalties and could lose their license to recruit these students, ensuring accountability and commitment to quality education. 

Again, the Home Office is cracking down on recruitment agents who mislead foreign students into low-paying jobs, often exploiting them under the Graduate Route scheme.

To further refine the quality of education offered, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering banning “low quality” postgraduate courses that serve more as gateways to work visas than genuine academic pursuits. 

Despite these measures, immigration figures remain high, raising concerns about the effectiveness of current policies. 

Recent data shows that a significant portion of graduates under the visa scheme earn below £15,000 annually, questioning the system’s benefit to both the graduates and the UK economy. 

The planned reforms highlight the government’s determination to refine its immigration policy and enhance the educational landscape signaling significant adjustments for universities, students, and recruitment agents in adapting to these changes. 

The forthcoming reforms highlight the UK government’s dedication to enhancing its immigration policies and upholding rigorous educational standards. 

As these modifications take effect, universities, students, and recruitment agents must adjust to the evolving environment, ensuring they comply with regulations and maintain the integrity of the UK’s educational and immigration frameworks. 

Earlier, Nairametrics reported that UK’s Home Secretary, James Cleverly expressed concerns that international students might be compromising the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system. 

He explained further that some international students are utilizing university courses primarily as a cost-effective means to obtain work visas. 

In a letter directed to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), Cleverly requested an investigation into whether the graduate visa entitlement, permitting international students to work post-graduation for two or three years, was failing to attract the most talented individuals to the UK. 

On the other hand, university leaders are apprehensive that reducing or limiting the graduate visa pathway could result in a significant decline in international student enrollment and trigger a financial crisis for universities dependent on revenue from international tuition fees.

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