Twenty three universities join student visa pilot scheme in the UK

by Ray Clancy on December 20, 2017

A pilot scheme that streamlines the process for international students studying for a Masters degree at British universities to get a visa is being extended.

Some 23 universities have been added to the scheme which started out two years ago with the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Bath and Imperial College London. It means that international students looking to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less in the UK submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications.


However, applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused and all students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks.

The additional 23 universities to benefit from the pilot include two in Scotland, two in Wales and one in Northern Ireland as well as universities from across England.

‘I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world leading institutions remain highly competitive,’ said Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis

‘The UK continues to be the second most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010. This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK,’ he added.

The most recent Home Office statistics show that the number of students applying for visas increased by 8% over the past year and there has been a 9% increase in the number of students applying to Russell Group universities.

The 23 additional universities will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018/2019 intake of students. The universities were selected as their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.

The 23 universities to be added to the pilot are Cardiff University, Goldsmiths University of London, Harper Adams University, Newcastle University, Queen’s University Belfast, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the University of Bristol, Durham University, the University of East Anglia, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Essex, the University of Exeter, the University of Glasgow, the University of Leicester, the University of Liverpool, the University of Manchester, the University of Nottingham, the University of Reading, the University of Sheffield, the University of Southampton, the University of Wales Trinity St. David, the University of Warwick and the University of York.

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