Security, assurance & a pathway to professional life – the UK’s Graduate Route

 In News

In 2016, I received a scholarship of £9,000 to pursue my undergraduate studies at Coventry University.

While this scholarship eased some of the financial burden, it was clear that I would still need to secure additional funding to cover the remaining tuition fees.

The prospect of taking out a loan was daunting, especially considering the uncertainty surrounding repayment, particularly in the absence of a Graduate Route visa at that time.

Fast forward to 2021, and I found myself facing a pivotal decision.

On one hand, I had received a full scholarship to pursue an MSc in Social Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian University. On the other, I had a promising career opportunity waiting for me back home.

Ultimately, the deciding factor was the availability of the Graduate Route visa in the UK.

The Graduate Route visa represented more than just an opportunity to extend my stay in the UK after completing my studies; it symbolised security, assurance and a clear pathway to transitioning from academia to the professional world.

“The employment opportunities provided me with a sense of stability and confidence in my decision to pursue higher education abroad”

Knowing that I could explore employment opportunities in the UK upon graduation provided me with a sense of stability and confidence in my decision to pursue higher education abroad.

Throughout my academic journey, the existence of the Grad Route visa served as a constant motivator.

It pushed me to excel in my studies and actively seek out opportunities for personal and professional growth. Beyond its practical implications, the visa instilled in me a sense of belonging and purpose in a foreign land, encouraging me to fully immerse myself in the vibrant academic and cultural landscape of the UK.

However, recent news of the UK government launching a review of the Graduate Route visa has sparked both curiosity and concern among international students like myself.

While I understand the need for periodic evaluations of visa policies, I am apprehensive about the potential implications of any significant changes to the Grad Route.

The recent abolition of dependant visas for masters-taught students starting from January 2024 has already resulted in a significant decline in the number of international students enrolling in UK universities.

A drastic negative change to the Graduate Route visa could further exacerbate this decline, impacting not only the diversity and richness of the UK’s academic community but also its economy and global standing in higher education.

In conclusion, the Graduate Route visa has played a pivotal role in shaping my educational journey and future prospects. Its introduction has opened doors to countless opportunities for international students like myself, providing a sense of security and assurance in pursuing higher education in the UK.

As the UK government reviews this vital visa pathway, it is crucial to consider the far-reaching impact of any proposed changes and ensure that the UK remains an attractive destination for international students seeking to further their education and contribute to society.

About the author: Gino Obaseki is a former international student at Glasgow Caledonian University and UKCISA Ambassador. 

The PIE has launched a campaign calling on the government to support the UK Graduate Visa, which featured in the Conservative Party manifesto in 2019. British citizens or UK residents can sign the petition here.

The post Security, assurance & a pathway to professional life – the UK’s Graduate Route appeared first on The PIE News.

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