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Government announces tougher rules for foreign students

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced a package of changes to Tier 4 of the points-based system, the category dealing with student visas. Foreign students from outside Europe wanting to come to the UK to study will now be required to meet stricter entry criteria.

The changes follow a review to the current design of Tier 4, which explored whether this struck the right balance between facilitating access of genuine students and preventing abuse by economic migrants. The changes are planned for the coming weeks and months.  

The new measures will include:

•  a ban on foreign students studying below degree level if the course includes a work placement - unless that course is being provided by a university, college or training provider which has the status of 'highly trusted sponsor';

•  a requirement for students to demonstrate their English language ability by passing an approved secure test - this will apply to all students studying below (foundation) degree level, including those coming to study English language;

•  the introduction of tougher criteria for defining which course providers count as 'highly trusted sponsors' of foreign students. 

The Home Secretary's written ministerial statement about the changes is available below. Further details are available from the UKCISA website.

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Tags: international students points-based system tier 4

Created on: 15 March 2010

Last updated: 15 March 2010

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