Suella Braverman slams ‘massive rise’ in UK student visas as Home Secretary insists it is ‘legitimate’ to question ‘low-quality’ colleges offering UK route
- Suella Braverman promises to ‘look at’ low-quality colleges offering UK routes
- The Home Secretary promises to take a “more discerning” approach to student visas
- She notes that there has been a ‘massive increase’ in the number of foreign students
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tonight promised to ‘look at’ low-quality colleges offering people a route to the UK through student visas.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Tory conference, Ms Braverman promised to take a ‘more discerning’ approach to the number of student visas issued.
Home Office figures show that more than 485,000 sponsored study visas, including dependents, were issued in the 12 months to June this year.
That was 71 percent more than in 2019, which was the last full year before the Covid pandemic, and the highest ever.
The figures were boosted by new post-Brexit requirements for European students to apply for UK visas.
Ms Braverman acknowledged there had been a “massive increase” in the number of foreign students coming to the UK.
She insisted that it was “legitimate to question whether it will actually serve our financial objectives” and that it was right to consider the “quality” of the courses being studied.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman promised to take a “more discerning” approach to the number of student visas issued
The Tory conference event hosted by the Young Conservatives saw attendees listen via ‘silent disco’ style headphones
‘We’ve got a manifesto commitment and that was a Brexit promise to reduce overall immigration,’ the home secretary told the event in Birmingham, hosted by the Young Conservatives, where attendees listened via headphones in the style of ‘silent disco ‘.
“That’s where I think we need to look more at low-skilled workers. I think we need to look more at the students.
‘We have had a massive increase in the number of students coming to this country.
‘Students are a big thing because they come here to study and get skills.
“Maybe they will contribute skills in this country, maybe they will return to other countries or their own country to contribute skills and that is a really good thing.
‘I think we’re getting to a point where we have to look at some of the courses that people are doing in this country, some of the institutions – they’re not always of very good quality.
“I think it’s legitimate to question whether it will actually serve our economic goals.
“Taking a more discerning, smart approach to the number of student visas I think is very much in line with our agenda for growth.”
Home Office statistics show that more than 485,000 sponsored student visas, including dependents, were issued in the 12 months to June this year – the highest ever
Chinese and Indian nationals together account for almost half (48 per cent) of all study visas issued in the UK
According to Home Office statistics, almost 118,000 student visas were granted to Indians in the 12 months to June this year.
This was an increase of more than 80,000 compared to 2019, with Indians now overtaking Chinese as the nationality with the highest number of UK student visas.
Chinese and Indian nationals together account for nearly half (48 percent) of all student visas.
The Home Secretary also promised to look at other visa routes being used by migrants to come to the UK as she vowed to ‘inject some balance’ into the immigration system.
“I think we should add some balance because there are many benefits to migration – people coming here with skills to contribute to the economy is a good thing,” she added.
‘We also have to be honest that many, many, many more people coming here – net migration is very high and it has also increased – is putting pressure on our services, on our housing and on our community relations.
‘I think it’s perfectly legitimate to say that.
‘That’s why we’re moving towards a balanced approach where we welcome highly skilled migrants who contribute to different sectors of our economy – while making sure we have a balanced approach to low-skilled migration and overall numbers – I think is fully feasible.’