Cities in UK to lose millions of pounds over restrictive visa rules for international students

The Vice-chancellor of Coventry University, Prof. John Latham, says that the economy of cities in the United Kingdom may miss out on tens of millions of pounds due to the recent governmental restriction on international student visas.

According to the BBC, Latham noted that the regulations, along with political discourse, are deterring students from studying in the UK.

In January, the government introduced restrictions to prevent most international students bringing dependents with them.

In introducing the new rules at the beginning of the year, the UK Home Office said it also wanted to stop student visas from being a “backdoor route to work in the UK.”

However, Coventry University boss stated that international students contributes over £150 million to the city’s economy where Coventry is located and attributed a 40% annual decrease in international student enrollment at English universities during January’s intake to political decisions.

Latham also said that this has a “significant effect” on the university’s finances and the broader economy.

He noted that the university is a key employer in the region and sustains numerous additional jobs, either directly or indirectly, and said that international students contribute “substantial spending in the city.”

In January, Nairametrics reported that the UK government had introduced new regulations limiting Nigerian and other international students from bringing family members as dependents during their studies, except under specific conditions.

It noted that these students are now only permitted to bring dependents if they are enrolled in postgraduate programs classified as research initiatives.

The government, with this new rule, announced the elimination of the option for international students to transition from student visas to work visas before completing their studies “to prevent misuse of the visa system.”

The UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, disclosed that these measures are part of a strategy to decrease net migration.

In a recent interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, revealed that the count of dependents accompanying Nigerian students in the United Kingdom (UK) soared from roughly 1,500 to 52,000 between 2019 and 2022.

He pointed out that prior to the coronavirus pandemic in 2019, there were only about 1,500 Nigerian dependents in the UK.

He said that by 2022, this figure had escalated thirtyfold.

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