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Study UK met with UKBA

28 January 2011

Study UK meeting with Jeremy Oppenheim, Regional Director, National Lead Temporary Migration at EThames Graduate School, 8.15 - 9am Monday 17th January 2011.


Initially, the discussion was to include pipeline or foundation courses and English language requirements, the former led to a discussion of HTS and the overall aims of the consultation so the English language requirement was not discussed. It was made clear that the protection of the Higher Education sector is important to ministers but that the premise for the consultation was to reduce net student migration.

The UKBA are not minded to have a numeric cap on student migration at the moment but, with the aim of the consultation being to reduce the number of international students in the UK, if the proposals don't have an effect a cap could be considered in the future.

The UKBA have had over 21,000 responses to the consultation document, largely from individuals, submissions from institutions and interest groups are expected. Following the consultation, the UKBA proposals will go to the Cabinet for approval and will be published in mid March. The 6th April will be the first date for any changes to come into effect with the remaining being introduced over the following 12 - 18 months.

Annual renewal of HTS was noted by Study UK as an impairment to long term business planning. It was suggested that HTS could be valid for up to 4 years with questions built into annual audits. It is likely that the level of study, below degree level, will be incorporated into the HTS framework.

The UKBA wants to understand feeder courses and their importance for Universities so that they can better protect them. A clearer picture of student progression to degree level was requested.

HTS will be one of the tools used to reduce net student migration and over the course of the next 18 months a new tier on the sponsor register, with more requirements, could be introduced.

The accreditation process will be reviewed and will not be overseen by Ofsted but it is possible that the accreditation association will have both academic and immigration responsibilities.

Some regions are seen to be higher risk than others and institutions should be wary of recruiting only in these areas.



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