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The UK considers increasing work hours for international students

The UK government is considering increasing the number of hours international students can work during their studies, in a bid to fill job vacancies across the country. 

Nairametrics gathered that ministers are considering whether to extend the work hour limit from 20 to 30 hours per week or to scrap it completely. 

One source told The Times that officials were looking at what more can be done to remove barriers and encourage students to work as part of a series of measures being investigated to address mounting job shortages. 

The aim of the move: Note that this is coming as the UK is experiencing a labour shortage which was aggravated by Brexit and rising levels of economic inactivity. The new strategic direction will therefore help to urgently fill employment gaps.

Also, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has reportedly signalled his intent to boost the workforce to help tackle inflation as high vacancy levels drive up wages. 

What this means: Stakeholders have welcomed the “choice and flexibility” extended work hours offer students, but have also raised concerns that it “has the potential to distract students from their studies”. 

Nigerian students in the UK will therefore need to find the right balance between work and study if this policy will take effect.  

Working longer hours while studying can help cushion the rise in the cost of living due to the effects of inflation in the UK. 

However, this may lead to burnout as students may struggle with their studies as the high exchange rate used in paying tuition in the UK is a strong motivation to excel in their studies. Another downside is that this may be a strategy the UK wishes to offer international students to conversely reduce their time in the UK after their studies. 

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