More support for foreign students in Europe to study, work

Friday, September 14, 2018

Senegambians and other international students in Europe are currently receiving an expression of support from various universities and other institutions across the continent regarding the extending of their rights to not only study but also to work.

The unprecedented request occurred despite differences in academic syllabus, curriculum, research method as well as diverse and sometimes controversial political opinion among some quarters.

Thus taking into consideration the significance of such group of people, now leaders of various universities across Europe are publicly calling for changes to a range of visa rules and regulations.

Currently there are tens of thousands of international students studding in Europe and if accepted, it will allow foreign students to not only learn but also to ‘‘stay and work’’. 

Germany and the U.K. for instance are very popular destination for international students. In Germany, this year alone, official statistics revealed that the country enrolled over 300, 000 foreign students in various German Higher Education.

Consequently, in the U.K., different heads of universities have formally appealed to the government to also permit international students to work for at least two years after graduation.

Academics and professors concluded that following a thorough independent research, the U.K. is missing out on the global growth in favour of other rival countries outside of Europe which they described as ‘‘unacceptable’‘.

It is important to note that currently foreign students can stay in the U.K. after graduation, however, there are strict ‘‘doorsteps and thresholds’’ regarding earning as well as other requirements for sponsorship.

The Tier 4 (General) student visa is the route to study in the U.K. It also specify and spell out what you ‘‘can do’’ and what you ‘‘can’t do’’. International students are urged to abide by the rules.

The U.K. described as the second largest destination for overseas students’ had rules changed over the years. But, universities feared that if their proposals are not met, the country’s £26 billion income generated from foreign students may be in jeopardy.

The government had previously complained about ‘‘student overstaying’’ their visas and using such visas as a ‘‘backdoor route’’ for migration.

However, universities have fired back confirming that foreign students are ‘‘abiding by the rules’’.

Furthermore, latest data also showed that nearly 90 percent of foreign students complied with the visa requirements and further describing the allegations against students as ‘‘factual incorrect’’.

Nonetheless, the government has also acknowledged that so far there is ‘‘no limit’’ on the number of foreign students coming into the U.K. to study. It added that there is ‘‘no cap on legitimate overseas student numbers’’.

Meanwhile, PhD students who completed their various courses are allowed to stay for an additional year to gain work experience. They can also set up an as an entrepreneur.

Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent