British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak places limit on international students to curb immigration

42-year-old Rishi Sunak emerges as UK new prime minister
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: New Conservative Party leader and incoming prime minister Rishi Sunak departs Conservative Party Headquarters on October 24,2022 in London, England. Rishi Sunak was appointed as Conservative leader and the UK's next Prime Minister after he was the only candidate to garner 100-plus votes from Conservative MPs in the contest for the top job. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced plans to reduce immigration to the UK by limiting the number of foreign students who can enter the country.

According to the new plans, only students who have been admitted to the UK’s most prestigious universities will be granted visas to enter the country.

Meanwhile, the number of family members that international students may bring into the country will be limited.

 This comes after the number of foreign students’ dependents nearly tripled in a year. 

The latest immigration stats from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that approximately 560,000 people migrated to the UK as of June. This marked a sharp increase from the comparable period last year, although driven by the influx of Ukrainian refugees.

Meanwhile, in its bid to crack down on immigration, international students will become the easiest targets. Unfortunately, this policy move would be a reversal of the 2019 International Education strategy which sought to boost the country’s education exports to £35 billion per year. The target was met in 2020-2021 when Sunak was a Chancellor.

Recently, many Nigerians hoping to use education as an immigration route to the UK have been opting for cheaper UK schools many of which are not among the Russel Group of schools. Not only are these schools cheaper, but it is also a lot easier to get into them as their admission requirements are not too stringent.

The Russel Group, on the other hand, consists of UK’s top universities, akin to America’s Ivy League schools. There are a total of 24 universities under the Russel Group, including Cardiff University, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, etc. 

Getting into these Russel Groups is a little bit difficult. The tuition fees are also a lot more on the high side.

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