The UK’s new Student route and Child Student route will open on 5 October 2020 to the best and brightest international students from across the globe.

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton, said;“This is a great opportunity for students in Sri Lanka who wish to study in the UK. With four of the world’s top ten universities in the UK and over 150 universities to choose from, the UK offers phenomenal opportunities for students looking for outstanding personal development opportunities.”

As a result of coronavirus, some overseas students are choosing to defer their entry onto courses in the UK until the spring semester of 2021. Introducing these new routes now means that students will be able to benefit from the new streamlined process whilst still giving sponsors time to adapt after their autumn intake.

The routes will ensure the UK’s world-leading education sector can continue to welcome talented and high potential students to their globally renowned universities, further education and English language colleges, and independent schools, the British High Commission said in news release.

There will be no limit on the number of international students who can study in the UK. This will help to increase the total number of international students choosing to study in the UK higher education system each year to 600,000 by 2030, as set out in the International Education Strategy published in March 2019.

Chief Executive of the Russell Group Dr Tim Bradshaw said: "We welcome these changes to the immigration rules, which will help to ensure the UK remains an internationally attractive place to study. We will continue to work with the government to ensure our visa system remains flexible and responsive to developing issues, such as those emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.”

The new Student route improves on the previous Tier 4 route by making it more streamlined for sponsoring institutions and their students, creating clearer pathways for students, and ensuring the UK remains competitive in a changing global education market.

Students will require a total of 70 points to be granted leave. They will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK.

The UK also want to ensure they retain talented students to continue to contribute to the UK post-study, which is why they are launching the Graduate route in the summer of 2021. This additional new route will allow those who have completed a degree at a UK Higher Education provider with a track record of compliance to stay in the UK for two years (three years for PhD graduates) and work at any skill level, and to switch into work routes if they find a suitable job.

Chevening – the UK government’s prestigious fully-funded scholarship programme is now open for applications. Seven scholars are currently making their way to the UK to commence their postgraduate degrees, and the British High Commission are looking forward to receiving a diverse range from Sri Lankan applicants for 2021. This is a unique opportunity for talented Sri Lankans with leadership potential to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture and build lasting positive relationships with the UK. The application window for Chevening closes on 3 November 2020. Interested applicants can find more information on the programme by visiting www.chevening.org.  

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton with Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena at a meeting recently