Kritikere advarer om at britiske myndigheter har mistet kontrollen over hvor mange som slipper inn i landet. Den nye regjeringen har lovet å rydde opp, men er på etterskudd. Antall ikke-eurepeiske studenter skjøt i været med 30 % i fjor til 300.000.
Official figures showed that the number of students entering Britain from non-EU countries increased by more than 75,000 in 12 months, despite unprecedented demand for college and university places at home. The influx was exacerbated by a further 31,000 dependants accompanying foreign students, the figures disclosed.
It followed the introduction of Labour’s points-based immigration system which was supposed to made it harder for unskilled immigrants to come to Britain.
However, the new system made it no harder for immigrants to enter the country on student visas, according to campaign groups.
The Government said that the student visa system had been open to “significant abuse”. Damian Green, the immigration minister, said there would be a thorough review of the rules.
As well as attending traditional universities, tens of thousands of foreign students have been admitted to 600 “lower tier” colleges, at which it is easier to gain a place but which are still accredited to hand out bachelor degrees.
Last year, it emerged that some of these colleges offered qualifications in subjects such as circus skills, acupuncture and ancient medicine. Many of their students are given the right to work in Britain after graduating.
About 4,000 illegal immigrants are also thought to have taken advantage of bogus colleges to slip into the country.
ccording to Home Office figures, 313,011 foreign students were granted visas in the 12 months up to March. They brought with them some 31,385 dependants.
The figures were a 32 per cent increase on the 235,295 students and 24,780 dependants given visas in the previous year.
UK immigration: 300,000 a year let in on student visas
The number of foreigners who came to Britain on student visas rose by a third to more than 300,000 last year, prompting renewed warnings last night of a loophole in immigration law.