In a sudden turn of events, the UK government has announced that it will work towards reducing the number of people arriving in the UK. Several media outlets have highlighted that the Rishi Sunak government is planning on bringing down the net migration from a record level. Some reports have even suggested that the government might even ban foreign students excluding those selected by top UK universities.
New data has revealed that the net migration in the UK has spiked up to an estimated record of 504,000 in the year up to June 2022. As a result of the rise, a spokesperson of the current government reiterated the new PM’s commitment to bringing down the overall numbers.
In the spokesperson’s statements, the UK government has been “considering all options to make sure the immigration system is delivering, and that does include looking at the issue of student dependents and low-quality degrees.”
Reports have stated that the incoming international students have resulted in the sudden rise of the net migration numbers, excluding those arriving for humanitarian protections, i.e. Ukrainian refugees.
A report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) further backed the claim, stating that Non-EU migrants, particularly students have been the driving force behind the rise in the numbers. ONS further highlighted the influx of student travellers after lifting the travel restrictions in 2021, which boosted the numbers more.
The ONS data further revealed that 39% of the 277,000 long-term visas of non-EU nationals were people entering the country on student visas, in the year ending June 2022.
According to the ONS data, Indian students have overtaken Chinese students as the largest international student cohort in the country with a significant 273% jump in the number of visas granted over years. Therefore, if the UK government were to impose a ban on foreign students, Indian students would be the most affected.
This announcement comes after the Rishi Sunak government announced a youth mobility partnership, offering 3,000 young professionals from India to live and work in the UK every year. This scheme will allow Indian professionals to be offered visas that permit them to stay and work in the UK for two years, while, British nationals will be able live and work in India.
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