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UK to allow international students to stay longer after graduation

by Benjamin Plackett, special to C&EN
September 14, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 36


The British government has announced plans to allow international students to stay in the UK and job hunt for up to 2 years after they graduate. This reverses a policy introduced in 2012 that gave most students just 4 months to find an employer or leave. The 2012 policy was introduced by Theresa May, who was home secretary at the time and later became prime minister. The news comes amid increasing upheaval over Brexit, the UK’s plan to leave the European Union, and many commentators anticipate a general election in the near future. The move to allow students to stay longer is welcomed by Jo Reynolds, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s director of science and communities. “It shows the UK is still the place to study for promising young chemical scientists from all over the world, allows them time to stay in the UK and find employment in our thriving science and innovation community,” she says. The UK has almost 460,000 foreign students, accounting for roughly 20% of the country’s total student population, according to a report by Universities UK, which represents higher education institutions in the country. The visa extension, however, will apply only to students who begin their degrees in 2020.


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