Home Office visa announcement

04 April 2012

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We are pleased the Home Office has removed some of the red tape for appointing the best candidates for PhD level jobs, which are highly specialised by their nature and hugely valuable to the UK. It’s also right they have not reduced the limit for Tier 2 visas for at least two years.

“There is fierce global competition for the best academic talent. If we are to maintain our place as a global leader in research and higher education then the UK must continue to attract not only the very best students to our world-class universities but also the best researchers and academics. We need to be open to people with first-rate academic qualifications to help us generate ideas and innovations so we can stay ahead in a fiercely competitive global knowledge economy. Russell Group universities are responsible for supporting 243,000 jobs UK-wide.

“We urge ministers to show how much the UK values and welcomes high quality international students and academics who make such an important contribution.  It is important they that continue to listen to evidence to ensure that our ability to attract the best academics and students is not harmed while cracking down on any abuses of the immigration system. “International higher education students contribute hugely to the academic strength of our universities and they are also worth at least £6.8 billion to the UK each year from their tuition fees and living expenditure alone. Around £2.5 billion of this vital contribution is generated by Russell Group universities.”

Notes to editors

  1. PhD level jobs no longer need to be advertised in JobCentre Plus and the best applicant can be selected regardless of whether they are a resident worker.



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