Stakeholders in the UK industry indicate a rise in the number of overseas students quitting their courses soon after enrolling in order to pursue job offers in the care industry, persuading more and more students to study in UK.
Applicants are no longer required to hold a degree level qualification due to changes to the skilled worker visa system. Without having to finish their degree, students who are able to obtain a job offer from a business recognized by the Home Office can apply to convert from the student route to the skilled worker route immediately.
A recent study has identified a rising pattern in which international immigration consultants help clients enter the UK and then transition to care work before having to pay the full cost of education by using colleges as a stepping stone.
Compared to the graduate route, which requires students to pay high course fees and maintenance for the duration of their education before entering the jobs market, this route offers a quicker and less expensive road to full-time employment in the UK.
Although this is an entirely legal immigration route, it will have a disastrous impact on university finances because it will cannibalize the population of international students before they graduate.
According to pre-pandemic HESA figures, non-continuation costs the UK higher education sector more than £300 million per year, and more than 100 universities lose more than £1 million per year in undergraduate tuition fees from students who drop out.