MAC Review Recommends Keeping Graduate Visa Route Intact to Boost UK Education and Economy

15 May 2024, 14 mins ago

The recent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) review recommends retaining the Graduate visa route, affirming its benefits for UK education and international graduates.

Commissioned by Home Secretary James Cleverly, the recent MAC review has recommended that the Graduate visa route be retained in its current form. This route is a pivotal component of the UK’s international education strategy, which allows graduates from UK universities to stay and work in the country for two years post-graduation (or three years for doctoral students).

The MAC’s comprehensive review found no widespread abuse of the Graduate route, thus affirming its alignment with broader educational objectives. It highlighted that most users of the route are postgraduates from non-Russell Group universities, primarily from India, Nigeria, China, and Pakistan. The report also noted that Graduate visa holders initially tend to work in lower-paid roles, but many transition to higher-skilled employment, contributing positively to the UK economy over time.

However, the MAC raised concerns about the exploitation of international students by some recruitment agents, prompting suggestions for amandatory registration system to protect students and uphold the quality of UK higher education. Despite these concerns, the Graduate route itself was found not to undermine the integrity of the UK’s education system.

The MAC’s recommendation to retain the Graduate visa route underscores its role in attracting global talent and supporting the financial stability of UK universities. By preserving this pathway, the UK continues to foster a welcoming environment for international graduates, strengthening its reputation as a top destination for higher education.

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