English UK response to changes to the student visa route
23 May 2023

Why teach english as a foreign language

English UK response to changes to the student visa route

On Tuesday 23 May the Home Office announced changes to the student visa route which will mean that postgraduate students on non-research courses can no longer bring dependents with them to the UK. 

Although this will not impact ELT students studying at our member centres, we are concerned that any curbs on the rights of international students in the UK have the potential to damage our attractiveness as a destination in an already challenging global international education market. 

In response, our chief executive Jodie Gray said:

"We are sorry to see this action being taken against students, who by definition are in the UK for a short and defined period of time.

The UK remains a friendly and welcoming place, and we recognise the importance of all ELT and international students to our nation. As an industry that transforms lives through learning, we will continue to attract and welcome students as we have before.

We hope that our language learners are not deterred from coming to the UK as a result of this change in the regulations for postgraduate university students.

We urge the government to review these changes. We will continue to work with government departments on the International Education Strategy and campaign for the interests of ELT, our members and students."

Please note that government sponsored students on the student visa route are still allowed to bring dependants. This includes students sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau (SACB), the Kuwait Cultural Office and the Qatar Cultural Attache Office.

International students boost UK economy by £41.9 billion 

A new report published earlier this month revealed the growing importance of international students to local economies throughout the UK.

The economic benefit of international students rose from £31.3 billion to £41.9 billion between 2018/19 and 2021/22.

Find out more in the recently published report by HEPI, Kaplan International Pathways, Universities UK International, and London Economics:

Our campaigning work

We want to see the government supporting the UK's English language teaching (ELT) sector to regain its position as the world's leading ELT study destination. 

previous entry << >> next entry