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Changes to UK Student Visas

Great news for overseas students! A change to visa rules will allow them to remain in the UK after studying.

Students who travel to the United Kingdom to pursue a range of qualifications have received some exciting news this academic year. From the year 2020-21, people with immigration status in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas will be able to take advantage of a new opportunity.

stem-degrees

The lowdown

The government in the UK has decided to consolidate its position in the burgeoning markets of science and technology. It will now allow individuals from abroad who wish to follow a path into employment to remain in the country following their graduate studies. For students from India as just one example, this will equate to approximately 50% of all educational visitors. The aim of this policy is to allow Britain to lead the markets – and the world – in the development and expansion of ideas into an ever changing future.

How will it work?

Students must first have a relevant qualification. Those whose status in the UK is linked to a place in a university or higher education establishment will then be able to transfer their visa to an employment (skilled work) visa. In order to do this they must find a job in a related, recognised field. Instead of facing restrictions and hurdles to gaining meaningful and relevant work opportunities in England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland students will be rewarded for doing so. The government intend to have rigorous checks and criteria in place to ensure that those who are deserving, and who meet the requirements, are able to benefit from the new legislation.

Why now?

Brexit is just about all anyone can talk about in relation to the UK recently. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite appearances, that’s not the only priority announced by the recently appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Back in August, Mr Johnson ordered a review of the systems in place to incentivise the ‘top scientists’ to work here. The new visa plans are the culmination of this endeavour. In a speech he said that

“[even though] we continue to lead the way in the advancement of knowledge, we have to not only support the talent that we already have here, but also ensure our immigration system attracts the very best minds from around the world.”

This recognition of the world class international students attracted by the UK’s educational offering is good news for budding developers and innovators alike. From Newton to Darwin, the telephone to penicillin, Britain’s history is littered with crucial discoveries, developments and inventions. The aim is to continue this illustrious offering into the future of post-Brexit Britain.

How to take advantage of the changes

In opening up this opportunity, the UK government has created a series of new stipulations to maximise the results.

– Check whether the institution you wish to attend is one of the UK research institutes or universities that are authorised to endorse applications.

– Sign up to campus or graduate employment bureaus and agencies whilst studying in order to rollover or amend your student visa.

– Research additional funding that may be made available in your field for STEM based fields of investigation.

It could be you…

A British student has won the Nobel medicine prize, awarded in Stockholm, along with two US-born scientists for their research into the links between cellular processing of oxygen and the implications for advancements in treatments for debilitating diseases such as cancer. Such scientific boons are just the sort of acclaim the UK are hoping to replicate when the new ruling comes in. If you needed more reasons to study in the UK, maybe this could be it. You could add Nobel prize winner to your resume very soon!

Celebrating…World Mental Health Day 2019

Within the same week, World Teachers’ Day and World Mental Health Day are being celebrated. A crisis is being recognised around the world by educators and legislators alike, so continue reading for a short summary of services available at universities for students who need a little extra help managing their personal wellbeing.

Click here for the dedicated World Teachers’ Day article.

World Mental Health Day

Since 1992, World Mental Health Day has been celebrated on 10th October. It has become a day for awareness, campaigns and charity events which help to focus the public’s attention onto mental health issues.It is also an opportunity to flag up to the world exactly what has been done to support the vulnerable in our society…and to identify what still needs to be done.

On 9th September 2019, the World Health Organisation published an article claiming that due to a lack of awareness or legislated strategies to support the most in-need in a range of countries around the world, one person every 40 seconds are dying from their mental health. This may seem extreme or exaggerated but with suicide being the biggest killer of men aged 45 and under in the UK, it’s actually frighteningly true. Universities, colleges and schools are tackling the issues head on with a range of initiatives.

Student support

Every University will have a student services team that can assist you with day-to-day queries about life at University. Did you know that there are also dedicated people to support students when it all gets a bit too much, too? Harper Adams University in Shropshire recently won a UK accolade as the best University for student welfare. Perhaps due to the type of courses they offer – in farming and agricultural careers – there is a focus on integration and support for students. As 1 in 4 young women in the UK reported feeling lonely in modern society, this is clearly a necessary service being provided.

Online access to resources

The Unlonely Film Festival is an online festival in which students and budding auteurs can upload their content. The aim is to promote inclusivity and to share their experiences of loneliness. Run by the Unlonely Project, a group designed to use creative expression to combat loneliness, the festival is now in its third year and has gained the attention of television and written media alike. It’s been found that feeling isolated is as large a risk to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Raising awareness of the increasing social issue of loneliness, the charity encourages contributions that inspire as well as open up opportunites for dialogue.

On campus support

California Institute of Technology, or CalTech to friends, is 2nd in the world rankings of academic offerings. Perhaps part of the reason is due to the dedicated online and on campus support offered by the wellness team to ensure that students of the colleges at the university feel secure and safe to learn and excel. Nobel Prize winners, Turing award holders and more have passed through their doors and many students now feel the pressure to perform in this world-class school. However counsellors, drop in services and peer mentors mean that if you attend this establishment you will be well looked after. No wonder their results are so impressive, with that level of dedication to their students.

Any university has a responsibility to their students but as young people’s voices grow louder and their needs are more clearly expressed, establishments are scrabbling to compete for student satisfaction. This can only be a good thing for those poeple this World Mental Health Day who need a little extra support.

 

If you are feeling overwhelmed or in need of help, research what your university offers, or access charity support available 24/7 by phone or online.

Samaritans UK – https://www.samaritans.org/

Samaritans USA – http://www.samaritansusa.org/