Thousands and thousands of international students will be refused visas as Home Secretary Alan Johnson introduces tough new rules to prevent terrorists from creating links with Britain.
These tougher rules include the requirement that student applicants are able to speak passable English, and applicants for short courses will be immediately refused.
These new requirements are a response to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s pledge to overhaul the system after the discovery that the Detroit plane bomber was a foreign student enrolled in a British university.
A points-based system was in place prior to these new measures, introduced a year ago in order to control apparent abuses to the system. The points-based system required students to attain 40 points before they could enter the UK with a student visa. These points were collected from a genuine course offer from a UK educational institution (30 points) and proof that they could support themselves and pay for the fees while in the UK (10 points).
Many foreign students were staying on in Britain, long past the expiration of their student visas. The points based system was introduced to hopefully weed out those who might linger on past their visa expiry date, but it’s questionable whether or not students who have an offer from a course and a means to support themselves while studying are any more or less likely to overstay their welcome.
The British government feels the Detroit plane bomber is an example that the point-based system is still too lenient. The new rules will make life even more difficult for immigrant terrorists to come to the UK and use the country as a launch pad for their activities.
The government does not say what they will be doing about the terrorists who are UK citizens who already live in the UK. The government also does not say what they will do about the tens of thousands of legitimate students who will now be denied a chance of a British education if they fall outside these tough new measures, and yet hold a hard earned offer from a UK college or university and have saved for years and scraped together the money needed to support themselves while on their course. Those potential students who would learn valuable skills and new ways of thinking to take back to their home country and potentially improve the lives of many people, thus preventing their people’s desire to fight back with terror tactics.