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UK: no evidence of abuse to Graduate visa route

However, there is reason to believe students are instead being exploited by ‘poor practices’ from agents.

‘We have not found evidence of widespread abuse on the Graduate route,’ wrote Professor Brian Bell, Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), in his letter to the Home Secretary on Tuesday.

Following the rapid review from the MAC this week, the committee have shared its recommendation with the Home Office that the Graduate route continue to be implemented in its current form, going on to say the impact to public finances is ‘small but positive’.

Universities are likely to breathe a sigh of relief at the news, as fees from international students continue to be integral to institutions.

‘International students are incredibly important and valuable […] boosting the economies of towns and cities across the UK by £42 billion a year,’ said CEO of The University Consortium (NCUK), Stuart Smith. ‘81% of NCUK students currently studying with our UK university partners are interested in gaining graduate work experience in the UK before they return to their home country, with the top reason cited being students believe this will provide them better career opportunities in the future.’

Despite no evidence of abuse to the route by international students, the MAC have instead expressed concern that some agents are ‘mis-selling UK higher education and exploiting students’. As part of their recommendations, the MAC have suggested the government create a mandatory registration system for recruitment agents, in response to what they described as ‘some examples of bad practice’.

As of writing, the government has yet to respond to the recommendations.

Image courtesy of Mikhail Nilov
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