The UK is a popular study abroad destination for Indians owing to its world class universities, top global ranks, and strong career prospects because of the country’s most favourable post study work visa regime for students in all of Europe. The latest changes to the UK post-study work visa (PSW) have further increased its popularity amongst international students, particularly those studying STEM courses in the UK.
The latest changes in PSW policy indicate the UK government’s efforts to promote STEM-related expertise in the country and attract global talent in these fields, for which it has relaxed the post-study work visa rules for all international graduates and postgraduates studying in the UK.
Learn more about the PSW benefits of studying STEM courses in the UK below. If you wish to apply for a UK study visa or enquire about studying undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Medicine, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the UK, book a free consultation with SI-UK India today.
Post-study work visa policy in the UK
All international students starting an undergraduate course in the UK are eligible for a 2-year post study work visa. This relaxation would mean that international graduates in the UK can now stay back for up to 2 years, unlike earlier, upon the successful completion of their undergraduate course. This extended time period will allow international students to look for work opportunities within the UK and set forth in their global careers.
The post study work visa is applicable to all graduate students studying courses at any of the government approved UK higher educational institutes. The UK has more than 200 public universities in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
The new PSW is a very positive policy change by the Boris Johnson government aimed at retaining global talent in the UK and giving a major boost to the UK economy. The 2-year post-study work visa has been reintroduced in the UK after it was revoked in 2012, resulting in a fall in the number of international students in the UK. After the announcement of the new PSW, there has been a significant increase in the number of applicants due to the many advantages, such as:
- Students are given residence and work permits even after completing of their course
- Students can start an international career in the UK
- Not many other countries in Europe have such liberal student work visa policies
- There is a better chance for a smooth transition to the general Tier 2 work visa after the 2-year PSW period
- STEM graduates will get better opportunities to continue their postgraduate studies at the research oriented UK universities
Impact of the 2-year PSW on STEM graduates studying in the UK
In 2021, the Government relaxed the work visa rules for PhD researchers and highly skilled UK professionals interested in studying or working there. This included the removal of the cap on the number of work visas granted to researchers and PhD level scholars for work and research in the UK. This, coupled with creating a fast-track route for scientists, paved the way for a smooth transition of highly skilled professionals to the Tier 2 UK work visa.
However, from 2020 onwards, work visa relaxation will also be applicable to graduate-level students under the new PSW in an effort to cement the UK’s status as a superpower in the STEM sector. The UK is keen on welcoming students from India and the world to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses at UK universities and continue to work and research in the field, contributing to the UK’s economic growth and stability.
The number of Indian students in the UK has consistently increased and reached almost 22,000 in June 2019. Almost half of the students have been enrolled on STEM courses, demonstrating the huge scope for STEM graduates in the country. Whereas earlier STEM graduates could only stay up to 4 or 6 months in the UK post-completion of their degree, now they can work in any role for up to 2 years after completing their degree and later apply for a general work visa under Tier 2 category.
Best UK Universities to Study STEM Undergraduate Courses
Some of the best universities in the UK for studying STEM undergraduate courses are:
- University of Bristol
- University of Oxford
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Warwick
- University of Cambridge
- University of Manchester
Study in the UK
If you want to study Science, Medicine, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at UK universities and learn more about working in the UK under the new PSW UK visa, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK India today. Our friendly team can help you understand the UK entry requirements and assist you with your university applications.