The UK Government is planning to implement tougher new English tests for foreign students coming in their country. This plan was announced in a workshop held in the first week of October by the UK Home Office Officials and representatives of several universities. They intend to change the existing system into a more stringent international English language testing system. They plan to restrict the entry of so called bogus students, whose only aim is to work in the UK, to come into the country.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and Thresa, the Home minister, are reportedly in favour of a tougher English language test to restrict the entry of students, who are not able to speak English properly.
However, several others have shown concerns on the decrease in the number of foreign students and its adverse impact on the economy. UK business secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor George Osborn are also concerned that cutting the numbers will damage the economy.Some university vice-chancellors have asked for economic impact assessment of this plan, before implementation as they fear that several institutes may lose millions of pounds in annual fees due to the reduction in the number of foreign students, due to the tougher English language requirements.
While some universities are also arguing that it would be harder for science and engineering students because their language skills are not at par to the arts students. These universities fear that the implementation of the plan may result in closure of some of the science courses.
Nicola Dandridge, the chief executive of universities, stated that there is no evidence to prove that students selected under current English Language requirements are not performing academically well or they have failed due to their English language skills. She added that overseas students have performed similar to the UK students with an aggregate of 87% of overseas students achieving a first and second class degree.
Indian students are the second largest in numbers who apply for studying in UK universities followed by the Chinese. Around 20,000 Indian students went to the UK for studies in the academic year 2013-14. However in recent times, the number of Indian students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses have declined by as nearly 50% post 2010, after UK had scrapped the two year post-study work permit.