London: There will still be opportunities for highly skilled students from non-EU countries such as India after their studies in UK, even as new visa rules come in effect from April 6, a top education official has said.

"Students can currently work in the UK for 2 years after their studies have finished under the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route. But from April 6, a more selective system will come into effect, so only the most talented international graduates can apply to stay in the UK for work purposes, Prof Eric Thomas, President of the Universities UK has said.

"Only those who graduate from a university, and have an offer of a skilled job at a salary of at least 20,000 pounds (or more in some cases) from a reputable employer accredited by the UK Border Agency, will be able to continue living and working in the UK. There will still be an opportunity to work," he said.

Noting that UK continues to be one of the most attractive study destinations in the world, he said efforts are being made to ensure that international students are not included in Government's net migration figures.

Dr Newman, Director of International UK Higher Education, said she would visit India in the first week of April to attend a Round Table meeting convened by Union Minister Kapil Sibal.

New rules will come into force within weeks to cut abuse of the student visa route and ensure that only the brightest and the best students can stay and work in the UK.

The rules are part of a radical overhaul of the student visa system, which will encourage growth, boost the economy (young entrepreneurs or small company directors will get the chance to stay on in the UK after their studies if they have 50,000 pounds to invest in their business), ensure that students can support themselves, tackle abuse – restricting work placements to one-third of the course for international students who are studying below degree level will ensure that those coming to the UK are here to study, not to work (as was often the case in the past).

Additionally, the time that can be spent studying at degree level will be restricted to a general limit of 5 years.