Guest Blog by AABISKAR THAPA, @abicup010 London
In 2009, approximately 330,000 student visas were granted by UK Government to the international students mostly from South Asia and other parts of the World, who flew to UK for pursuing their higher education but now the life of International Students here is very alarming, stressful and hard to complete their course. You will never know when you going to be kick out of this country without completing the course because of your University or Colleges shut down either they are bogus or Cameroon’s Conservative Government intentionally targeting to reduce Non-EU migrant as a political game for coming general election on 7th May 2015 and the first targets are International Students.
According to the latest data’s provided by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department the total no of Student coming from Nepal to the UK since the Tier4 scheme launched in 2009 were 15,280 and Student dependent were 4,529 till third quarter of 2014. But, Home Office does not hold any information regarding the number of Nepalese students who returned to Nepal on completion of their studies. Approximately £99.32 million cash outflow from Nepal to UK as a student tuition fees and personal expenses between 2009 and 2014 (Average £6,500 per student estimated). Here I explain why UK can not be a good destination for Nepali students.
1 Private College Are Shutting Down (Revoked) And Some Universities Licence Were Suspended?
Since 2010, time and again Government has closed down hundreds of Colleges and 750 Educational institutions have restricted to sponsor international students, every 6 months or so UKVI is introducing tougher laws for International Students and confiscated their minimum working rights down to zero hours as a result thousands of Nepali students, majority of whom are studying in private colleges are turning into illegal aliens as said by British Government because they can’t afford to earn their personal expenses and majority of them unable to pay college fee without work rights.
After college got shut down by UK Government, although Student got the valid visa issued previously for the course which will be invalid and you are no more students of those Educational institutes. On the behalf of UK Government UKVI send you a 60 days curtailment letter stating that you have to find other college or University which should be in Highly Trusted as specified by UK Government otherwise, you have to leave the country.
2 You Are Not Getting A Single Penny After Your College Got Shutdown Which You Paid on Tuition Fee
Simply, you might think you will get refund that fee which you paid earlier to your educational institution and seek another good University or College but you are totally wrong. Students will not get any penny from those revoked colleges. The interesting thing is even UK Government has not secured any refund policy legally for International students. Students have to rush for enrolling another course with other institutions before 60 days expires, for that again students have to be well prepared for Maintenance fund and huge chunks of tuition fees to new educational provider. It’s a time to do or die, whether you have money or not, if you don’t want to sacrifice your career then, have to again invest for academic career, but this is not end of the story. It is very tough to get new admission with a good Educational provider if you from those revoked colleges.
3 Although You Got Your Student visa Extension It’s Hard To Maintain Your Legal Status
You will be very happy and start plan to read seriously, but this happiness is not going to last forever. Very frequently UK government is announcing tougher criteria and policies for international students and you have to keep checking on internet regarding the latest news kindly offered from Home Secretary and PM’s immigration policies, whether your colleges or Universities is affected or not. There is no guarantee your institutions will be safe on the Highly Trusted List on the next morning if it was safe on the previous night. Every moment you have to worry about your legal presence if your visa has extended form Private colleges.
4 You Can’t Work Legally If You Extend Your Visa From Private College
Previously, Government allowed international students up to 20 hrs/week works rights during the term time and full time if there is a vacation either you are studying University, Public funded or Private Colleges but from 6th April 2012 this work rights restrictions are down to zero work hour, if you are studying private colleges, which is most disappointing one. That means, if you are not student of University (Average £9000/yr fee payer) or public funded colleges (Which are very less in numbers) then you are not allowed to work here legally either they are part of course internship or to earn for monthly expenses.
5 Government Policies Are Not Supportive
Nobody either College Management, Ruling party in Government and Opposition leaders wants to clarify regarding this colourful discrimination of Student’s working rights between University student’s and a Private College student’s which were studying under a same visa category of world’s most developed nation, this significantly implies British Education is only for rich people and they do not care about other prospective genuine students.
Which makes students less optimistic about their future if they can’t work legally either they want to gain similar work experience related to their academic degree or they working for covering their miscellaneous expenses to run day to day life in one of the most expensive country. In the first stage you are a victim of mental pressure to sustain your life which also directly affects on continuation of your course and the most affected are those students who are here without their dependents and do not have additional supports to run their daily expenses.
6 Finally You Are Done With A Degree, What Next? Go Back Home
Luckily, if you are able to complete your Degree by your continuous hard work and strong willpower, after graduation there is another Berlin’s Wall to crossover. The post-study work visa scheme, which offered two years of full time working rights after completion your Bachelor’s degree, was already scrapped in 2012, which means you are on the condition where you will have theoretical degree but you will lack to get real work experience in your academic sector. This makes you a pendulum whether you make a risk to go back to Nepal or trying to extend legal stay for another work permit visa category route (Tier2). An easy prediction can be done how hard and challenging for fresh graduates who have to show job sponsors of £20,500 or more annual salary without getting any real work experience of what they had studied. Moreover your job should be of NQF Level 6, and your job description should fall on the shortage occupation list.
Do you really think, highly competitive company’s wants to invest on fresh graduates like you for that huge amount of salary without getting real work experience and what percentage of graduates are getting satisfied level of job offer. Last but not the least Home Secretary Mrs May is threatening foreign graduates to kick out of this country after completing the course, this bill is yet not passed through the British Parliament but we will have to stay tuned very curiously what will happen next.
PS: UK has some of world’s best universities which attract thousands of brilliant students from all over the world. This article is mainly focused on general Nepali students.
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