Responding to today's announcement from the Government, Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC), said:
“International students make an important financial and educational contribution to the country and colleges take their work as sponsors of non-EU students very seriously. Publically funded, Ofsted inspected further education (FE) colleges provide high-quality courses for all students, not least international students. Colleges have well-established and stringent attendance monitoring systems in place to mitigate against any potential abuse and the sector is keen to see any evidence that it is being used as a 'back door for bogus students'.
“Preventing international FE students continuing to study in the UK after they have finished their studies will limit the progression of students from colleges to universities. The Government risks seriously restricting the UK's ability to attract international students. A Levels and International Foundation Year courses represent legitimate study routes for international students with many going on to successfully complete degrees at top ranking universities. In blocking the route from further education to university, the Government will do long term harm to the UK as an international student destination and this policy needs urgent reconsideration. “