Immigration minister Damian Green is expected to launch a blitz on foreign students later today after figures revealed that tens of thousands of people admitted on student visas were still in the country five years later.
New policies will seek to limit foreign students entering the UK to study at dubious education establishments as the UK looks to only admit the “brightest and best” migrants.
Home Office-commissioned research has looked into all of those who came into the UK in 2004 and tracked their immigration status for the following five years. All those granted settlement in 2009 were also studied to see how they entered the country in the first place.
The largest group of visas granted in 2004 were to 186,000 students, more than one-fifth of whom – over 37,000 people – were still in the UK five years later.
And the research found that numbers of visas issued to students and their dependants had risen to 307,000 by the year to June 2010.
Student accommodation has been one of the few bright spots for contractors in recent years with demand booming in major cities for halls of residence.
One specialist told the Enquirer: “This looks like a crackdown on foreign students who come here to study at places below university level.
“We build blocks for universities so this shouldn’t have much of an impact. The universities are very keen on foreign students because of the higher fees they pay so I can’t see demand dropping.”