UK Uni’s Voice Concerns On Supporting Students With Dependents
University support for international students and their families is being questioned as an increasing number of international students bring their families with them to study in the UK. It is now the university’s policy to provide clear, prompt messages about accommodation and advice on making preparations well in advance, despite the fact that they are not required to do so.
As of the first half of 2022, Nigeria leads the world in dependent visa applications, with the number of dependents outnumbering main student applicants. Between January and June of this year, the UK government granted 17,761 visas to Nigerian dependent’s, compared with 14,498 visas granted to students. According to Ismat Abu Shihab, director of University of Bradford’s regional hub in Dubai, we are seeing a significant increase in students with their dependent’s joining the university. International students are advised on three points by the university,
He Told The PIE:
- The demand for accommodation is high, but the supply is limited.
- There is an increase in costs.
- The importance of location.
The journey from London to Bradford, for example, can take four to five hours and cost more than £125 a day, Abu Shihab pointed out. In order to reduce costs and improve the study experience, we recommend students find accommodations within an hour of the university. In addition, a university stakeholder who spoke on the condition of anonymity agreed that early intervention was necessary to address housing needs, and stated that their institution is working with local landlords on the matter. Currently, they are tracking “manageable” issues, they told The PIE.
It was advised that students should live within 50 miles of their institution to comply with UKVI regulations. With increasing numbers, students could be forced to live beyond that with family members who live in the UK and commute.
According to the Stakeholder We Spoke To,
Most of the new arrivals are of primary school age, which puts pressure on local authorities to provide access to schooling for the dependent’s.
In Addition, They Added,
“We have been very clear with our messaging to students throughout the summer and into January that, while we can provide advice and housing for students, housing for families is not our university’s responsibility.
We are working with the local sector to assist students in finding appropriate family housing, however.
Currently, we find that students don’t pay a lot of attention to rankings in the market. They go to any university where they believe they’ll be able to get a job at the end of the day,” she explained. Dependants of sponsored study visa holders are likely to face a surcharge on their visas. There is no additional charge for other public services that dependants may need such as school access, even though applicants are required to pay an NHS health surcharge and demonstrate maintenance fees for nine months per dependent during the visa application process.
Students studying in London must demonstrate they are able to support themselves with £845 a month, while students studying outside London must demonstrate they have £680 to support themselves.
The dependents of students in receipt of a government award and enrolled in a six-month or nine-month full-time course are also allowed to work.
The Cost of a New Life is High For Many Students:
It has been observed that they are paying to study, settle and come to the country.
International students pay higher tuition fees than domestic students, so additional costs may seem unfair, but It has been suggested that institutions may view them as a control measure.
According to a Report From Admissions Service Enrollee,
International students bring an average of 1.6 dependent’s with them to the UK, but only 11% are related to international students. Family units have a high rate of usage of the dependent visa policy in the UK based on this data. Autumn and winter intakes will be detailed in Q3 data, due in November 2022. In 2021, Libya issued 156% more dependent visas than it did students, a similar trend to other countries, albeit with smaller numbers.
“It is true that there has been an increase in the number of students traveling with dependents in the sector, and we are currently trying to figure out how many of our own students are in this position,” Guillaume Richard, director of recruitment, admissions and international development at the University of Roehampton, said. His university is considering additional support that may be needed in order to collect data that was not automatically collected before.
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