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Wednesday 5 September 2018

Jo Nesbitt, Director of Solent’s International Office

We strongly support Universities UK in its call to the UK government to reintroduce a visa allowing qualified international graduates to gain work experience for a period of up to two years after they complete their studies.

It is a move that would help UK Higher Education remain attractive to international students and allow more UK businesses to benefit from the skills of talented graduates from around the world.

This move would give recognition to our talented international students and the immense benefits they can bring to the UK.  At Solent we recognise the contribution they make to life within the University itself and the wider region, enriching the learning journey of our home students, supporting links with organisations and bringing opportunities from around the world to the UK’s doorstep.

The message has also reached the general public that the benefits of post study work would be immensely valuable and UUK statistics show that 74% of British adults agree that international students should be able to work in the UK after graduating.

Currently these students are in a position where, as soon as their course finishes, they have just four months to find employment within a range of challenging restrictions – including a minimum salary of £20,800.

This is a tough proposition for many graduates, regardless of nationality, so reducing this threshold to £19,500 and extending the time limit would go a long way towards recognising the cultural and financial contribution these students make.

The UK is still a world leader in international education but the reduction of post study work for our international students has severally affected our competitive position.  This action is needed to reverse the trend.

Solent University will continue to actively support this change, ensuring our universities and communities remain a destination of choice for international students and that they continue to feel truly welcome whilst making vital contributions to our community and economy.