Warning of 60,000 bogus students
Jul 24 2012
More than 60,000 bogus students could have entered the UK last year, a pressure group has claimed.
There is clear evidence of abuse on a major scale, with Government figures suggesting more than 44% of the 141,700 overseas students who came to the UK last year could be bogus, said a report by Migration Watch UK.
Sir Andrew Green, the campaign group's chairman, said: "Bogus students come here to work illegally and thus take jobs from British workers. We now have clear evidence of abuse on a major scale."
Home Secretary Theresa May is bringing in risk-based interviews of up to one in 20 potential international students from the end of the month after a three-month pilot scheme.
It found 32% of almost 2,000 students from outside the EU who were interviewed and granted a UK visa would have been denied one if UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials had the power to refuse visas because they suspected the applicant was not a genuine student.
Using the refusal rate for each country in the pilot scheme and applying it to applications made in 2011, Migration Watch found 63,069 applications could have been refused last year. Among the countries in the pilot scheme where abuse appeared the most prolific, Burma had a refusal rate of 62%, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria all had refusal rates of 59%, and the Philippines 53%.
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