NISAU Urges PM Rishi Sunak: Safeguard Graduate Route For Students

NISAU Urges PM Rishi Sunak: Safeguard Graduate Route For Students

The Graduate Route permits international graduates to stay in the UK for up to two years post-graduation (three years for PhD graduates) to acquire work experience.

Siksha MUpdated: Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 02:57 PM IST
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NISAU UK Writes To PM Rishi Sunak Stressing The Importance Of The Graduate Route For International Students | NISAU UK/LinkedIn

The National Indian Students and Alumni Association (NISAU) UK has raised concerns over the potential restriction of the Graduate Route in the UK. The group emphasises in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak how important the Graduate Route is to maintaining the UK’s appeal as a study abroad destination and supporting its higher education sector and economy.

The Graduate Route permits international graduates to stay in the UK for up to two years post-graduation (three years for PhD graduates) to acquire work experience. 

What the letter stated?

Sanam Arora, Chair of NISAU UK, emphasises the importance of maintaining the Graduate Route, citing evidence from the recent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report that found no abuse of the policy and recommended its continuation. Arora points out that recent polling data from Survation indicates strong public support for retaining the Graduate Route, with 66% of voters advocating for international graduates to have the opportunity to work in the UK for the permitted duration or longer.

Sanam Arora said in the statement, “In fact, international students and graduates are by and large extremely hard-working young people who have typically invested tens of thousands of pounds into their UK education, alongside their dreams and aspirations for a better future. They trust our country with their futures, often by taking out expensive educational loans. It is only reasonable that they would want some return on this very significant investment. And the return they seek is the very simple opportunity to gain meaningful work experience for a temporary period of time.”

“In today’s world where employability is a key outcome of education, we should not separate work experience from the study experience. In this context, the Graduate route allows the opportunity to gain this work experience for a temporary period. It is non-extendable and does not count towards permanent settlement. This means that neither students nor graduate visa holders should be considered ‘immigrants’ in the context of the long-term picture of migration, which to our mind should be used as the basis of policymaking, to address any concerns around immigration,” she further added.

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