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Language proficiency required for UK study

While some rich Chinese are finding it easier to become UK citizens, students now have to pass additional language tests if they want to study in the UK. From April next year, overseas students applying for UK student visas must undergo a face-to-face interview. To discuss this, we're joined by our correspondent Richard Bestic.

In London alone, overseas students bring in four billion dollars a year – a much sought after sum for the UK capital's cash strapped Universities.

But at the Home Office, government ministers puzzle over how to ensure all those applying aren't simply using higher education as a back door route to working in the UK.

UK Home Secretary Therese May believes she's found the answer.

Theresa May, UK Home Secretary, said,"From today, we will extend radically the Border Agency's interviewing program. Starting with the higher-risk countries, and focusing on the route to Britain that is widely abused, student visas, we will increase the number of interviews to considerably more than 100,000, starting next financial year."

Students at the London School of Economics say it'll make it much tougher to gain a study place:

Omar, student from Pakistan, said,"I think it's still difficult for students applying for a visa for the UK. I mean, you can't get a visa within a month, and it costs a lot. And, there are also interviews. I think it will create additional pressure for students. They will be nervous."

Cao Yifan, Chinese student studying in UK, said,"The face-to-face interview is much more difficult than the paper-based check. On one hand, it tests students' English proficiency, on the other hand, it checks the materials more carefully. For those students without full preparation, they may not successfully get the visa based on just one interview, so they will face repeated interviews or even rejections."

Gay, student from United States, said,"That's going to make it less exciting for talent to come to Europe and to come to England, to come learn here and apply their skills. It's going to push them away because they have to guarantee they have a job before they even graduate. They've already got enough concerns while they're doing their degree.

Add to those concerns, new rules from April making it more difficult for graduates to remain in the UK for work and some say many overseas students will go elsewhere.

The new system one-to-one interviews is designed to bring some order to the current shambolic situation that exists with student visas.

The London Metropolitan University here is currently taking the British Government to court after 2,500 of its overseas students were told to go home when the college had its licence for overseas students suddenly revoked.

Whether the new tests will make England appear a more welcoming destination for foreign students is quite another matter.


Source: ecns.cn
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