UK to Deny Higher Ed to Foreign StudentsInternational students applying for postgraduate studies in science subjects at British Universities will need to get prior government permission.
International students applying for postgraduate studies in science subjects at British Universities will need to get prior government permission under controversial new scheme formally announced by the UK Foreign Secretary on Thursday.
Under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), non-EU students wishing to research at PhD level in Mathematics,
Computer Science, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Technology and Engineering will need to apply for a counter proliferation clearance certificate starting this summer.
“As the proliferation threat has evolved, we have looked again at whether there is room to improve the scheme,” Foreign Secretary David Miliband said. “In particular, and as recommended by the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), we have looked at the scope to make it compulsory, so that we catch a greater proportion of students of potential concern. We have also looked to shift the emphasis from universities to Government, where both feel it properly belongs.”
The scheme, which will also affect MSc students wishing to study Nuclear Physics, Material Science and Aeronautical Dynamics, has come under severe criticism by academics and leading politicians.
“It’s over the top. It is a system that would be difficult to operate effectively and it is likely that such vetting would turn students away from coming here,” respected MP and former scientist Ian Gibson told Chemistry World. “They would feel that we are an oppressive country where foreign students are viewed with suspicion. There is no need for any such vetting. It is absolutely unnecessary and likely to be counter-productive.”
US educationist Victor Johnson, of NAFSA: Association of International Educators warned British Government: “Don’t do it the way we did it over here”
Th British government has also changed immigration rules affecting international students.
Under the new rules that will come into effect in time for the next academic semester, every individual wishing to study in the UK will need to obtain a visa prior to arrival, and must supply biometric information including a scan of all 10 fingers as part of the process.
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