London: The number of foreign students coming to the Britain for studies could be slashed by 100,000 annually under plans by the Government to crack down on the regime, the local media said.

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May is likely to adopt measures to tackle bogus colleges and tighten the rules, including restrictions on those wanting to study at below degree level.

Official sources believe the move, along with other measures such as tougher English language requirement, will cut the number of students arriving each year by 80,000.

There will also be a reduction of 20,000 among those immigrants already in the country who then swap to student visas in order the prolong their stay in the UK.
 
The changes come following data that suggests that one in seven foreign students attending private colleges are bogus.

The overall number of students who breach their visa conditions has also tripled in a year with incidents now running at the equivalent of one a day.

Student visas have peaked at more than 300,000 in recent years and currently represent two thirds of all visas issued under the points-based system.

"Immigration by students has more than doubled in the last ten years and is now far larger than through the work or family routes. This Government recognises the important contribution that international students make to the UK’s economy, and to making our education system one of the best in the world," a Home Office spokeswoman said.

He said that it has become very apparent that the old student visa regime failed to control immigration and failed to protect legitimate students from poor quality colleges.

"Too much trust has been placed on largely unregulated colleges and too many people used to come as students but were primarily working, not studying," he said.

Hence forward only the most trusted education institutions, such as established universities, will be able to offer courses at below degree level to non-EU students.

In a separate move, the Post Study Work Route will be tightened. However, ministers have stopped short of abolishing the so-called Post Study Work Route altogether.

The British government is set to refocus the system as a temporary route, available to only the brightest and best, the spokeswoman added.


(Agencies)