Tougher criteria set in students' visa for UK
The United Kingdom (UK) announced an overhaul in students' visa system, with tougher entry criteria and limited work entitlements, making it difficult for average grade Bangladeshi students to study and work there.
Changes will protect the interests of meritorious Bangladeshi students wishing to study in Britain, but are bad news for those who tried to abuse the student visa route, said the UK Border Agency Regional Director Chris Dix.
At the UK parliament on Tuesday, British Home Secretary Theresa May announced results of a consultation beginning last December on student immigration system reform, says a press statement of British High Commission in Dhaka.
"This overhaul will ultimately reduce the number of Bangladeshi students in the UK," said an official of the high commission.
Last year, around 9,000 Bangladeshi students entered Britain, where around five lakh Bangladeshis are settled, the official added.
Those wishing to study at degree level in the UK will have to speak English at an “upper intermediate level” as per requirement of Common European Framework of Reference. This is an increase from the current level of requirement, the statement said.
Theresa May said, "We want to retain bright young people with innovative ideas particularly in fields of science, technology and design to help drive economic growth and productivity."
Students currently at universities and publicly funded colleges will retain working rights but others will not have that privileged, said the statement.
It said only university postgraduate students staying more than 12 months and government-sponsored students will be able to bring dependants who will be able to work.
At the moment all students on longer courses are able to bring dependants, it read.
All UK education institutions wanting to be sponsors will have to become “Highly Trusted Sponsors” by April 2012 and get accreditation by statutory education inspection bodies by the end of 2012, it added.
Now the system does not require this and allowed too many colleges below standard to become sponsors, it read.