Student leaders at the University of Sheffield have spoken out against the Coalition Government’s plans to restrict the rights of international students studying in the UK. The Home Office is currently consulting on proposals that would fundamentally change the rights of non-EU nationals attending UK universities. The changes would restrict their rights to work while studying, the ability of their families to come to the UK and remove their right to work in the UK for the two years after completing their course.
There are currently close to 5,000 students from outside of the EU attending the University Of Sheffield, close to 20% of the total number of students. As such, international students make up a key part of the city’s economy, something that is put at risk by the government’s proposals.
Mina Kasherova, International Students’ Officer at the University of Sheffield Students’ Union, said:
“The government’s proposals are a serious erosion of the rights of international students currently in the UK and a major disincentive to young people around the world choosing to study in the UK in the future.”
“The biggest concern of the students I represent is around the right to work after completing a degree. People have come to the UK in good faith on the basis that they could stay for 2 years to gain experience. This opportunity is now being taken away from them and they have only a low-key, rushed consultation to express their concerns and dissatisfaction.”
“International students are a vital part of the university and the city. They make a huge contribution to the local economy and enrich our culture. The government’s plans in their current form would turn students away from the UK, harming our universities and cities at a critical time for the economy.”
“As an absolute minimum the government must agree to allow those students already in the UK to stay for post study work for two years. These are the terms on which they decided to come to the UK in the first place and it is plain wrong to move the goal posts on them now.”
“It is also worth noting that at the general election Nick Clegg promised to resist any government imposed cap on immigration to the UK. These proposals are part of a cap that the government is attempting to impose. Nick Clegg has already broken his pledge to home students, but he can still stand up for international students and stop these proposals.”
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