September 12 2019

UK Student Property: Visa Reforms Reversed for International Students

September 12 2019

UK Student Property: Visa Reforms Reversed for International Students

Author: spgCategory: UK Student Property
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Overseas students are now permitted to remain in the UK for up to two years following the completion of their studies, with the new proposals praised for helping to support the development of the world’s brightest talent and the positive impact on the UK economy.


  • The Home Office has reversed 2012 reforms to international student visa regulations, meaning graduates will now be able to remain in the UK for up to two years in order to find a job
  • It’s a huge boost for Britain’s 450,000 international students, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying the new regulations will enable the world’s best students to “unlock their potential” and start their careers in the UK
  • Increased demand for a UK education from international students will further drive the need for high-quality purpose-built student accommodation, while also underlining the enduring resilience of the investment sector


From the Far East to Africa, students from around the world are now able to stay in the UK for longer following the completion of their studies.

In widely welcomed news, the Home Office has introduced new proposals that will see international students allowed to remain in the UK for two years post-graduation in order to pursue a career in Britain.

The proposals are a reversal of the changes made in 2012, which saw overseas students being required to leave the country four months after the completion of their degree.

It’s now hoped more of the world’s most talented students will pursue an education at one of the UK’s many illustrious institutions.

Figures from the UK Council for International Student Affairs show that, in the 2017/18 academic year, there were just over 450,000 international students studying degree courses in the UK. Evidence also points to overseas students boosting the UK economy to the tune of £26 billion each year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new proposals will help the world’s best students to “unlock their potential and start their careers in the UK”.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot also welcomed the changes, stating that it enables international students to “contribute to our economy, our universities and to research”, helping the UK to “attract the brightest and best from around the world”.

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, backed up these comments. He stated: “Evidence shows that international students bring significant positive social outcomes to the UK as well as £26 billion in economic contributions.”

Mr Jarvis also added that the proposals will continue to make the UK a “first-choice study destination”.

The news comes at a time when international student numbers in the UK are already growing to new levels. Over the last decade, there’s been a 48% rise in EU students and a 70% increase in overseas students coming to gain a UK education.

For property investors, it’s high-quality purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), located in key Russell Group university cities with large overseas student populations, that offer the strongest investment potential.

The UK’s PBSA sector is set to reach a total value of GBP 53 billion in 2019, with the demand for the finest quality accommodation being driven by the UK’s growing number of international students.

These new visa proposals further underline the strength and resilience of UK student property investment. A British education is continually demanded by the world’s best students, and wider economic concerns won’t dampen this appetite for education.

Furthermore, there continues to be a huge undersupply of PBSA in Russell Group university cities. For example in Cardiff, a city in which its elite university has increased its EU and non-EU international student numbers by 31% and 18% respectively over a six-year period, there has been a 137% increase in demand for PBSA during this time.

However, there are 2.5 students in Cardiff for every one available PBSA; 25,354 students in the city are unable to access the accommodation they want.

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