Is Britain ‘losing the battle’ to attract international students?

International student Kelvin managed to get a job despite visa restrictions
By Germaine Broadbent

The University of Bath heavily promotes its guaranteed ‘placement year’ as a method of improving students’ employability prospects.

A placement gives you the opportunity to work in business, gain practical work experience, earn money, improve your CV, make some contacts and generally initiate you into working professionally.

But how does that work for international students?

They can complete their work placement as part of their academic study but are not permitted to work – paid or unpaid – once their studies are finished.

UK visa laws dictate international students who study in the UK must leave the country between four and six months after graduating.

If they do manage to get an interview and be offered the job, they will require an employer to sponsor their visa.

Not easy to complete a successful job search and visa application in their four to six-month time limit.

We spoke to one international student about his experience.


Among the recommendations in the November Inquiry Report provided by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for international students, is the suggestion that the government creates a post-study work visa allowing up to two years of work experience in the UK.

The APPG for international students met in Portcullis House on November 28, 2018.

President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs and International Students APPG co-chair, Lord Bilimoria noted that whereas British universities used to lead the world in attracting international students, all the UK’s major competitors are now growing at a far greater rate.

“Britain is losing in the battle to attract talented and committed international students from around the world,” Bilimoria commented.

Post-study work options make a huge impact on prospective international students choosing to study elsewhere, according to Bilimoria.

He said it was time for a completely new approach.

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