International students graduating from university in any subject will be allowed to stay in the UK for two years to find work in reforms announced by the Government.
The change affects international students studying at UK universities and other higher education providers, and reverses a decision made in 2012. It has been the focus of much campaigning by the international education sector, which argued that it has made UK universities much less competitive for students.
The announcement was made late on Tuesday evening as part of an expected flurry of announcements by the Government, which is believed to be preparing for an early election. The announcement has been welcomed by English UK.
Annie Wright, English UK's marketing director, said: "Any changes to the visa system which send out a positive message that the UK welcomes international students is good news.
"This announcement makes the UK a more attractive place to study. It is likely to mean that more young people and their families will choose the UK's ELT sector to start their educational journeys or prepare for university study, in the knowledge that they can get a valuable two extra years of experience and using their skills in the workplace.
"We can also hope that this is only the start of making the UK more attractive to all international students through the visa system and positive messaging, so that the ELT sector can compete effectively with other destinations."
The change affects students enrolling from September 2020 and was made as part of a wider announcement about a genetics research project. Students will need to "have successfully completed a degree from a trusted UK university or higher education provider which has a proven track record in upholding immigration checks and other rules on studying in the UK."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "The new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers.
"It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest."
Updated advice on immigration arrangements for EU citizens arriving after a no-deal Brexit has been published by the Government.
Widely-reported remarks made by Home Secretary Priti Patel that freedom of movement would be ended on Thursday 31 October are not supported by the document, which says that EU citizens will be able to enter the UK as they do now on identity cards or passports but will not be able to claim residency rights.
It is not clear, however, how people will be able to prove when they entered the UK.