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10.02.10. Tougher rules for foreign students

Foreign students from outside Europe wanting to come to the UK to study will be required to meet stricter entry criteria, the Home Secretary announced today.

The new regulations will ensure that students studying below degree level have a limited ability to work in the UK, and that their dependants cannot work here at all.

It will be even harder for bogus students, whose only aim is to work in the UK, to come into the country.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson also confirmed that the government will implement plans to introduce a points test by 2011 for those who wish to earn British citizenship.

The new measures for students include:

a good standard of English (equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will be needed to come to the UK and study to improve English language competency further;

a good standard of English (again equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will need to be demonstrated in order to study any other course below degree level;

restricting the lowest-level courses (A levels and equivalent) to only the most trusted institutions;

halving the amount of time a student studying below first degree level or on a foundation degree course will be able to work, to just 10 hours during term time;

a ban on bringing in dependants for anyone studying a course for less than six months; and

a ban on dependants of anyone studying a course lower than foundation or undergraduate degree level from working - they will face removal from the UK if found doing so. Full text