Friday, 13 April 2012

Pak students to UK to face interviews as Oxford warns against new rules

Pakistani students applying for a visa to the UK are to face compulsory interviews with visa officers, according to a report in the Guardian.
The new rule has reportedly been imposed after a secret Home Office study suggested that 40% of all potential students were spurious applicants.
The newspaper said that Home Secretary Theresa May will announce that “bogus” students will be blocked from entering the UK when the measures are introduced.
Pakistani students wishing to study in the UK have applied for visas via paper applications over the past decade.
The pilot study, which was carried out by the UK Border Agency, suggests that 40% of applicants for student visas from Pakistan are likely to prove ineligible for the document, mainly due their inability to speak English.
According to The Guardian, the study was conducted through consulates in 13 countries; from India and China to Nigeria.
It found 38% of applicants from Bangladesh would be considered ineligible for a student visa. In most cases this was because applicants were unable to answer basic questions in English without the aid of an interpreter. The failure rate in other countries was projected at 29% in India, 28% in Egypt and 27% in Sri Lanka.
In Canada and the US, which are predominantly English speaking countries, the failure rate is projected to be 4%.
Reports say the compulsory interviews will gradually be extended to other countries after the pilot scheme in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, The Vice Chancellor of Oxford University has urged students from India to not be deterred by strict new visa rules introduced by the UK government this month.
Andrew Hamilton said the scrapping of the Post Study Work scheme on 6 April will have serious consequences with students looking to other countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia for their education.
New immigration rules mean fewer non-EU students are allowed to stay on in the UK after the end of their studies.
Ministers estimate there will be 70,000 fewer student visas issued as a result over the next 12 months.
Its estimated non-EU students bring close to GBP10 billion into the British economy annually.
-    Vijitha Alles

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