Thursday, 21 April 2011
UK Government to take a strict stance on foreign students wanting to be under graduates
The UK has said to foreign students, ‘speak English or stay out’ in a bid to reduce bogus students and challenge language schools accreditation. Theresa May, UK home secretary has issued this warning in a bid to reduce the amount of migrants using education as a back door into Britain. With an influx of under graduates applying to courses this will be good news to English students, however the there will be a huge deficit in University funds which foreign graduates have previously filled.
In particular the changes to the student visa rules will be aimed at private education institutions that are seen to bend the visa rules, and to only attract the “best and brightest” to try and cut visa numbers by up to 80,000.
Another blow is the withdrawal of their eligibility to work being withdrawn at private-sector colleges and working only 20 hours a week whilst at university. This stance has seen a lot of opposition, including Nick Bray, managing director at the London Study Centre where many students are doing a year abroad from their university to study English. "While some will be able to study without having to work, the fact is that many of them want to work part-time, not just to earn some pocket money, but also to improve their English. Just because these students don't typically go on to university doesn't mean they aren't the 'best and brightest'," he said.
In the end even if a student has a valid English language test certificate of at least B1 or B2, a UK border agency officer still has the power to bar students entry into the county if they believe their spoken English doesn’t meet the minimum requirements.
Many native graduates believe that the large amount of overseas students have very patchy English, and when they come to study more in depth degrees such as law that require an in depth knowledge of the language, it is hard to understand how they can pass the language tests. Their difficulty with the language can also place further burden on universities and lectures whose grades may fall and reduce the overall rating of the university. It also can disrupt the rest of the students on the course, if for example an English Student went to study at a French or German University, they would be required to have a good understanding of the language, if not to a high standard. Many Nations already impose barriers to foreign students coming to study in their country, so what is different about the UK doing it?
Many see Universities has money grabbers because the value foreign students can bring in compared to natives. However many believe a foundation year which would give the overseas students the help they need to improve their English to an undergraduate level. Also it is unfair to many overseas students who really do want to improve the English and study at some of the best universities in the world, therefore offer a trial period where they have a language test over a period of time to see their improvement.