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Foreign students 'will require licence to enter UK'

Published: Friday, 31 October 2008   Category: Government policies

Non-EU students will need to be sponsored by universities and colleges, as the UK increases efforts to reduce illegal migration, it has been announced.

As part of Home Office measures to be introduced in March, the UK Border Agency will issue licenses to those coming to study from abroad.

The government has become increasingly concerned about the appearance of "bogus" colleges, which it says are used solely as a vehicle for providing access to Britain.

Offering words of comfort to foreign students seeking careers in the UK, immigration minister Phil Woolas claimed UK higher education institutions would continue to recruit good students from outside Europe.

He stated: "International students contribute £2.5 billion to the UK economy in tuition fees alone.

"Those who come to Britain must play by the rules and benefit the country. This new route for students will ensure we know exactly who is coming here to study and stamp out the bogus colleges which facilitate lawbreakers."

A system of points-based immigration for non-EU citizens is being rolled out in the UK throughout 2008.

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