Weekly news roundup: UK government announce budget, and Ireland extend post study work visa

By Nicole Wootton-Cane• Last updated: Oct 31, 2023
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Universities and governments around the world have had to focus on some of the long-term effects of the pandemic this week, with signs that normal life is still a way off.

In the UK, there was a clear message that the country would need to start paying back for pandemic borrowing in the latest budget, with hikes in corporation tax announced. 

And in Ireland, ministers have made a one-time concession to allow international students who are currently studying remotely to be eligible for their post study work visa scheme. 

Here’s your weekly higher education news roundup. 

UK Chancellor unveils new budget

This week saw Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveil his new budget, with a new visa route and a tuition fee cap for English students among the proposed changes. 

Mr Sunak said there would be a “new unsponsored, points-based visa to attract the best and most promising talent in science, research and tech”.

The announcement follows on from last month’s Auguar review, where it was recommended that the government focus on attracting talent and aligning courses with the needs of the economy. 

However, the speech did little to address concerns about higher education funding in the UK, with this expected to be addressed in the government’s full response to the Auguar review. 

USA sees post-election rise in int’l student appeal

International students are more likely to come to the USA to study since the election of Joe Biden, according to new research.

A study conducted by student recruitment firm IDP Connect found that 67% of international students said they were more likely to study in the USA, and 76% said that their perception of the country had improved since Biden’s election. 

Students were also asked how they felt Biden’s election would affect nine key factors, with prospective students ranking welfare of international students, safety of citizens and visitors, and post-study work visa policies as big areas of potential improvement. 

Ireland extends post study work visa for remote students

The Irish government has announced that international students who are studying remotely due to the pandemic will be eligible for the post study work visa. 

Known as the Third Level Graduate Programme, the scheme allows international students who studied in Ireland to stay on and pursue graduate opportunities in the country. 

The concession is aimed at stopping students from travelling to Ireland for the current semester, with the country’s coronavirus restrictions still tight. 

Speaking to the PIE news, The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science, said: “In order to minimise the number of students arriving in Ireland, and to protect public health, the Department of Justice reviewed the eligibility criteria for the third level graduate permission scheme (1G).

“The amendments to the eligibility criteria will significantly reduce the number of students seeking to travel to Ireland up to the end of the academic year.”

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