According to the Guardian, Britain’s “complicated new visa rules” have deterred numerous would-be students from traveling to the UK for their education. I don’t know the extent to which my own visa situation mimics that of student applicants, except to know that the Highly Skilled Worker system underwent a parallel revision recently, but my experience of the points-based system suggests ample basis for the story.
To get a visa, international students are now expected to show that they can afford their tuition fees 28 days before they apply, have at least an extra £600 a month and £400 for each dependant in living expenses, and to keep it all in a bank account in their own name for the first year of their study. They also need a biometric identity card and have to have received their exam results by the time they apply.
Agents who recruit international students for the UK’s schools and universities say these requirements are too much and take too long.
This, too, sounds familiar (save for some differences in the sums of money I’m expected to pony up). “We remain concerned, however, that the system may delay or deter international students who wish to study in the UK” — students, and faculty too, in my case. Oh well, at least I have a fuller sense of what’s going on. (Hat tip to IHE.)