The loss of the United Kingdom’s two-year post-study work visa has cost the Scottish economy over £250 million (US$359 million) since the programme ended in 2012, Universities Scotland has said, while Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has publicly called for the reinstatement of the Tier 1 visa allowing students to work after graduation, writes Beckie Smith for The PIE News.
In a paper released this month, Universities Scotland estimated that 5,400 fewer international students have come into the country in the last three years than if the Tier 1 route had stayed in place. Growth in international student numbers has fallen to 2% annually in the last three years, from 6% in the three years preceding the visa curtailment. And the number of incoming students from India and Nigeria, two of Scotland’s key source markets, also fell by 1,275 or more than a quarter in that time, which the report attributes to the loss of post-study work rights.
The report calculates that Scotland has lost out on £145.7 million in revenue as a result of this fall in students from Nigeria and India, and a further £108.6 million due to slowing growth in international student numbers.