Ceredigion MP urges UK Government to confirm graduate visa will stay following report

Report says scrapping graduate-route visa could ‘disproportionately impact local and regional economies outside London and South East’

Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion, Ben Lake, has today (Tuesday 14 May) urged the UK Government to confirm the graduate-route visa would stay after a report by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said there is no widespread evidence a post-study visa for international students is being "abused".

The report also said that scrapping the visa could “disproportionately impact local and regional economies outside London and South East”. Mr Lake said it would “certainly deal a blow to the economy of Ceredigion”.

On Thursday, Aberystwyth University in Ceredigion announced there would be a "significant change" to the way it operates to save money after it was impacted by inflation and a "collapse in international recruitment markets".

Aberystwyth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jon Timmis, announced that the university will be attempting a “transformation programme” to plug the £15 million gap it expects to face over the next year. This programme could reduce staffing by an estimated 8-11%, likely affecting between 150 and 200 jobs. The University and College Union have said that the impact on Aberystwyth and Ceredigion more widely “will be significant given the university’s economic and cultural importance in the region”.

Prof. Timmis referenced high inflation, stagnant domestic student fees and the downturn in international recruitment as key factors behind this shortfall.

On Friday, Ben Lake wrote to the Home Secretary to urge him to consider the impact of attaining a lower number of international students on the financial stability of universities, and to maintain the graduate visa.


Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion, Ben Lake said:

“I welcome the Migration Advisory Committee’s unequivocal advice for the UK Government to keep the graduate-route visa. Scrapping it would cause irreparable damage to universities like Aberystwyth which are already facing a financial crisis.

“The report states that scrapping the route could disproportionately impact local and regional economies outside London and the South East of England, and it would certainly deal a blow to the economy of Ceredigion.

“The Home Office should accept the advice in full and confirm it will maintain the graduate-route visa.”

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