International Students Day is an annual international day to recognise the importance of students around the world.
The UK minister who is responsible for visas and immigration has encouraged students from Pakistan to choose the UK as a place to study.
Minister of Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, has used the annual celebration of international students to make clear that the UK is open to students, highlighting visa flexibility around Covid-19, as well as the new Student Route, as reasons to continue to choose the UK for study.
Over 5,000 students from Pakistan were granted a UK student visa last year, this being a 20% increase on the previous year. 93% of Pakistani students were successful in receiving a student visa which showed that the majority of UK student visa applicants are granted.
The UK’s new Student Route promises to make it even more streamlined and convenient for Pakistani students, with benefits such as applying six months in advance together with additional opportunities to extend student visas from inside the UK.
The UK government was among the first countries to introduce visa flexibility for students in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which included permitting remote study for the whole of the 2020/21 academic year and also replacing thousands of expired visas free of charge so that Pakistani students could still travel.
In the summer of 2021 the UK will also be introducing the Graduate Route, a new post-study work visa to allow eligible students two years (or three years for PHD students) to stay back after they graduate to work or look for work in the UK. The Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster MP, also said: “Pakistani students have always been a huge part of our community and we look forward to welcoming more to our world leading Universities. We want the best and brightest to study in the UK, which is why we have made it easier to apply. The UK will always value and welcome international students, and whether now or in the future, we want Pakistani students to choose the UK as the place to fulfil their potential”.
Mike Nithavrianakis, The British Deputy High Commissioner said: “Last year over 5,000 Pakistani students were successfully granted a visa, a 20% increase on the previous year. This is a testament to the strengthening links between the UK and Pakistan. More than that however, each successful visa means another student heading to the UK to build their career, expand their horizons and find out more about all that the UK has to offer. We hope that this continues and that may more students from Pakistan follow their compatriots on this journey”.
The Student Route and Graduate Route are part of the UK’s new points-based system. The new system of visas and immigration that the UK is opening begins in January 2021. This will create a fairer, clearer system where what matters will be the skills an individual has rather than their nationality.