June 23, 2024

Business – Great Britain: Companies warn of stricter immigration policies

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Photo: Agence France-Presse

Business bosses have warned British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the negative impact of a tougher immigration policy on the higher education sector.

Business bosses have warned British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the negative impact of a tougher immigration policy on the higher education sector. “We are deeply concerned by reports of a growing funding gap in research and teaching,” the international heads of companies said in an open letter on Thursday. They also warned of a sharp decline in the number of foreign student applicants.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Conservative government are competing for votes in the upcoming general election. Pressure is mounting on Sunak from the right wing of the party to limit immigration to Great Britain. A number of measures have already been introduced.

Among other things, it will be more difficult for foreign students to bring their family members with them to the UK. In addition, it should not be possible to convert student visas to a work visa after graduation. Universities had previously expressed their criticism of the company’s leaders and warned of a decline in applications. Universities depend financially on the high student fees charged by foreign students.

Now the bosses of Siemens, the French defense company Thales, and raw materials companies Anglo American and Rio Tinto have warned of the risk of finding fewer skilled workers. The government’s advisory committee on immigration issues also recommended this week that foreign students should continue to be allowed to stay for up to two years after graduation.

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However, right-wing Conservatives have stated that student visas are being used as a “back door” to securing jobs. Especially for jobs that do not require any qualifications.

According to government figures, the number of family members accompanying students to the UK fell by almost 80 percent in the first three months of the year. The number of visa applications for students from abroad decreased by more than 26,000 applications in the first quarter compared to 2023.

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