Great Britain: Barriers of entry could put the Turing program at risk

Current visa regulations for students coming to the UK from abroad for short stays may hinder the success of the Turing programme. This is the ruling of a new report from the Universities in the UK (UUK) interest group. The report highlights the importance of foreign students to Great Britain, and therefore insists that exchange student visitor visas be extended from six to twelve months.

According to the UK University, international students generally require a visa to study in the UK since January 1. UK Immigration currently differentiates between visitor visas (for stays of up to six months), which cost £95, and student visas (for the duration of study in question), which is around £350 plus an annual health fee of just under 500. pound. The UK University estimates that an average of nearly 13,000 EU students each year need one of these visas for their studies in Great Britain. Students can now decide to shorten their stay in the UK or not attend at all, as there will be greater financial hurdles, especially for stays longer than six months. The report argues that fewer formal obstacles are associated with foreign students staying longer in the UK.

UK International University Principal Vivian Stern commented to Times Higher Education, which first reported on the report, that international students care a lot about the UK because it makes UK universities more diverse. It has also brought the UK economy an annual income of around £470 million (€550 million). Finally, they also emphasized that British students can study abroad: the more foreign students accepted into the UK under these programmes, the more places are available for British students at partner universities.

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The UK University report is based on data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on foreign exchange students between 2015 and 2020. A total of 39,000 exchange students studied in the UK during this period. In addition, a qualitative survey was conducted at 32 British universities in the summer of 2021, which was also included in the report.

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