The government has ordered a review of visas granted to foreign students coming to the UK to study which may raise the minimum level of course that makes students eligible. This could have an adverse effect on Brighton & Hove’s language schools which accommodate 100,000 students per annum and generate over £100m for the economy.
The government has identified that the risk of learning visa abuse is greatest among short courses at lower academic levels; exactly the sort of course that over 40 language schools on the city offer to students whose primary aim is to improve their skills in English language rather than gain a high level qualification.
ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP COMMENT
Language schools are an important part of our economy not just because they bring serious amounts of money into the local economy but also because the presence of so many different nationalities adds to our cosmopolitan feel.
Also, some of the students that come here will go on to build successful overseas businesses. Their knowledge of the UK will enhance our future trading opportunities and their (hopefully) fond memories of Brighton & Hove may even influence their future inward investment decisions.
There is little doubt that the presence of 100,000 foreign students in the city every year is a contributory factor to Brighton being recognised abroad. A blanket imposition of restrictions on lower level qualifications is not the answer to visa abuse: making sure that schools are accredited and above board is.
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