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International students still face issues in returning to study in the UK

By Margaret Hartness

Despite UK borders being open and universities welcoming students to campus, international students continue to face problems regarding travel restrictions.

International students returning to the UK are found to be facing problems with the processing of their study visas. 

In response to the problem, UK universities and advocacy groups are trying to make provisions for students so they may be ready for the new semester. 

Universities UK International (UUKi) stated that they are aware of the issues with visa application centres (VACs) in some countries, and that they are working with the government on Covid-19 concessions for those experiencing difficulty obtaining a visa.

Said concessions permit students to attend alternative VACs if their local one is closed, allowing students to apply for a replacement visa with a revised validity date free of charge until the end of the year, and other approaches include students having the option to start their courses online before travelling to the UK at a later time. 

UUKi recommends students to keep in contact with their institutions for updates on their websites.

The University of Glasgow advises that all students who are unable to arrive on time for their course as a result of visa/travel restrictions or medical concerns can register remotely, enrol and commence their course. However, they must transition to their campus as soon as possible. 

The British Council has produced the International Student Mobility Heatmap which shows that other obstacles are preventing students from travelling. 

Maddalaine Ansell, director education at the British Council, told The Pie News: “Our global heatmap showed that government restrictions on travel, availability of flights and difficulties with getting tuberculosis appointments are also preventing international students from travelling.”

The Heatmap can be found on the British Council website here


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