As part of our commitment to enhance and further the MBA as well as to support our accredited business schools, the Association of MBAs has undertaken policy work surrounding the changes in April 2012 to the UK immigration system, particularly with regards to the changes being made to student visas. The main change impacting our business schools and MBA students is to the Post-Study Work Route as graduates of UK universities and business schools will no longer be able to obtain a Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa, which previously allowed students to remain in the UK for up to two years after they graduate, whether in employment or not. Under the new system, students will only be granted four months from their course end date to gain employment and sponsorship and apply for a Tier 2 visa.
More information on these changes can be found at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk
We have met with the UK Border Agency and have also met with the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP to advocate for the MBA and inform them of its value and the benefits of international MBA graduates to the UK. Below is a summary of our policy work to date and a few news articles that highlight the issue.
The Association has so far:
- Continuing engagement with government and the UKBA regarding the new regulations on behalf of our business schools.
- Held an event in January 2012 with Penningtons Solicitors LLP and UKBA to inform employers on the changes to immigration policy to help minimise any adverse effects that these may have on the recruitment of international MBA students.
- Held an event in December 2011 with Penningtons Solicitors LLP and invited UKBA to come and speak to business school Directors and admissions staff, to answer any questions and allow business schools the opportunity to make the case for the MBA direct to UKBA.
- Undertook quantitative research into the impact of the changes on the application and enrolment figures of international MBA students for UK-accredited business schools.
- Drafted an open letter, signed by 40 representatives of accredited UK business schools, which was published in The Times, the Glasgow Herald and The House Magazine – the internal publication of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. View a copy of it in The House Magazine (Page 18).
- Submitted a formal response to the Home Affairs Select Committee which looked specifically at Tier 4 visas. View here.
- Met with the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP to discuss the issue.
- Submitted a formal response to the UK Border Agency regarding the Student Immigration Consultation document. View here.
- Liaise with press. View articles below.
The consultation process is still underway but the Association is hopeful that its actions have helped to make a strong case in support of postgraduate management education, and that the unique contribution of international MBAs on the UK economy has been highlighted.