• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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UK’s visa restriction on Nigerian students, others seen hurting hiring

UK’s visa restriction on Nigerian students, others will worsen labour shortages – lawmaker

Carol Monaghan, a member of the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament has said the country’s new visa policy for international students including Nigeria will exacerbate the current labour shortages in the UK.

Speaking at parliament on Wednesday, she said international students enrich their society as they have the skills which are proving ever more vital in the post-Brexit climate.

“So with current labour shortages in healthcare, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Information and Communication to name but a few, how can the minister fail to recognise that this policy will exacerbate these,” she said.

She said the reality is that many students coming to the country look beyond their studies and want their families to be part of that experience.

“Without a way for overseas students to bring their families, many will opt to go elsewhere which will drop the number of international students, further harming universities that are already facing financial difficulties,” she said.

According to the Scottish National Party politician, international students make an invaluable contribution to their economy as data from the higher education policy institute shows that they provided nearly £43 billion to the economy last year.

“In my constituency of Glasgow Northwest alone, the economic benefit was over £83 million. So, I would like to ask the minister what assessments have been carried out on the economic impact of this change on the university sector and indeed in university towns,” Monaghan said.

On Tuesday, the British government announced new reforms restricting the number of dependent visas for international students due to an increase in net migration. The reforms take effect in January next year.

“The UK is a top destination for the brightest students to learn at some of the world’s best universities. But we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of student dependents being brought into the country with visas,” Suella Braverman, UK’s home secretary said in a statement.

Read also: UK’s new visa policy on students’ dependents sparks ‘japa’ debate

She said it is time for us to tighten up this route to ensure we can cut migration numbers and meet the government’s pledge to the British people to cut net migration.

“This is the fair thing to do to allow us to better protect our public services, while supporting the economy by allowing the students who contribute the most to keep coming here,” she added.

This development may affect immigration numbers for Africa’s biggest economy which recorded the highest number of dependents (60,923) of sponsored study visa holders in 2022, increasing from 1,586 in 2019.

Monaghan said the policy makes the home secretary’s agenda crystal clear that she is launching an attack on migrants regards of the benefits they bring to the UK and “in pursuing this program, international students have been caught in the crossfire.”