The MAC report on the impacts of international students in the UK was published on 11 September 2018. View the report at gov.uk.
The report contains a number of policy recommendations to the Home Office which follow a detailed analysis of the policy and law relating to international students in the UK (before, during and post study). In addition it provides a useful comparison with the relevant policies of other countries which recruit international students. A summary of the recommendations can be found on pages 111 - 112 of the report.
These recommendations include:
- not removing students from the net migration statistics, but raises several questions around the target, including whether having any sort of net migration target is appropriate
- not having a post-study work scheme, but:
- extending the leave granted to Master's students to six months after the end of their course (in line with the Tier 4 pilot, subject to analysis of the pilot)
- replacing DES leave with 12 months of leave automatically and additionally granted to leave for a PhD (subject to progress requirements and course completion)
- extending the benefits associated with an in-country switch from Tier 4 to Tier 2 to entry clearance applicants (ie the RLMT, exemption from the cap and from the Immigration Skills Charge), allowing such applicants a two-year period from completion of their qualification to make this application.
- widening the window within which an applicant can make an in-country application to 'switch' from Tier 4 to Tier 2, to allow students who have a job offer to make the application even where a job does not commence until a few months later.
The report also recommends retaining the work rights of students and their dependants and states:
“we do not recommend any toughening of visa requirements so a clear statement on this would also reassure. It would be better to loosen visa requirements and regulations as much as possible.”
Read Chief Executive Dominic Scott's blog about the report.
MAC report on EEA migration in the UK was published on 18 September 2018. Read our news summary.