In a major boost for Ghanaian students in the UK, the British government has announced on Wednesday that international students at British universities will be allowed to stay in the country for two years after graduating.
The new ‘Graduate’ route reverses the 2012 decision made by the then home secretary, Theresa May, that forced students to leave four months after finishing a degree.
It will be open to all international students who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider, announced the Home Office.
The visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies, the Home Office added.
Under the proposals, there is no restriction on the kinds of jobs students would have to seek and no cap on numbers, reports the BBC.
“If one needed evidence of a new approach to immigration within government, today’s announcement allowing all foreign students to stay for two years after graduation is just that,” the BBC’s home editor Mark Easton said.
“Where Theresa May introduced what she called a hostile environment around migration rules, with an ambition to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, Boris Johnson has promised to scrap that target and encourage the brightest and best to come and live and work in global Britain,” he added.
Last year, British universities admitted about 460,000 international students and the government aims to increase the number to 600,000 over the next 10 years.