Student visa rethink aims to please both business and Brexiters

On the roadmap to post-Brexit Britain, Boris Johnson offering overseas students more time to find a job in the country after they graduate attempts to hit on a compromise: between the demands of business to attract workers and the demands of many Brexit voters for migration to fall. Economic considerations appear to have won out. Universities had been applying significant pressure, warning that Theresa May’s tougher rules would inflict severe damage on a sector where Britain is a genuine world leader. Businesses argued that graduates would head elsewhere, to fill roles from low-skilled retail jobs to high-flying finance and tech startups. According to the lobby group Universities UK, enticing the 460,000 overseas students to Britain – including 140,000 from the EU – supports almost a million jobs and brings in £26bn a year for the economy. Under the market-driven changes introduced by the coalition government, some universities have become dependent on the higher fees paid by international students.

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