Cranfield University welcomes Government proposals announced today (11 September) to extend the period of time international students can remain in the UK after their studies to two years.

The Home Office has announced plans to reverse the decision made in 2012 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May that currently forces overseas students to leave the UK four months after finishing their degree, if they have not found a job.

Professor Simon Pollard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Partnerships and Student Recruitment, said: “This announcement is highly welcome. Cranfield recruits high quality international students, many on prestigious scholarships who – as part of their preparations for global citizenship – routinely express the wish to work in the UK.

“We will be augmenting our student support to provide these career-enhancing opportunities for our learners when they graduate.”

In 2018, there were around 450,000 international students studying in the UK.

If implemented, the change in post-study visa will apply to students who start courses at undergraduate level or above from 2020 onwards.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the change would see students “unlock their potential” and begin careers in the UK.

Responding to the announcement, the Chief Executive of Universities UK, Alistair Jarvis, said: “This is very positive news. Evidence shows that international students bring significant positive social outcomes to the UK as well as £26 billion in economic contributions, but for too long the lack of post-study work opportunities in the UK has put us at a competitive disadvantage in attracting those students.

“The introduction of a two-year post-study work visa is something Universities UK has long campaigned for and we strongly welcome this policy change, which will put us back where we belong as a first choice study destination. Not only will a wide range of employers now benefit from access to talented graduates from around the world, these students hold lifelong links with the UK with a recent study showing 77% of graduates want to retain business links with us and 88% would return for tourism.”