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May’s Government Plans Crackdown on Student Visas | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Britain’s PM Theresa May at Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain July 5, 2016. Reuters

London-Theresa May’s new government is preparing the ground for new measures on immigration that would include students who have received visas to study in Britain’s universities.

The Independent and Sunday Telegraph newspapers said that May’s team believes further restrictions on international students could significantly help to reduce net migration.

As Home Secretary, May attempted to limit the number of visas for students coming to study on further education courses.

In a confidential letter to other ministers, she also argued universities should “develop sustainable funding models that are not so dependent on international students.”

But she could have wrongly deported up to 50,000 international students after an English test cheating scam at one school was used to incriminate all who had sat the test.

Among the actions being considered are preventing universities from marketing their courses as opportunities for students to work in Britain, tighter controls on degrees at poor performing universities and further protocols to ensure foreign students return home after finishing their studies.

Meanwhile, the BBC said that prosecutors will be urged to push for tougher sentences for people committing hate crimes, following a rise in incidents after the EU referendum.

A £2.4m fund will also be set up for security measures at places of worship.

A rise in reported hate crimes following the Brexit vote has prompted concerns about a wave of xenophobic and racial abuse.

Figures released last week showed more than 6,000 alleged hate crimes and incidents were reported to police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in four weeks from the middle of last month.

The daily rate peaked at 289 on 25 June, the day after the referendum result was announced.

The main type of offence reported over the month was “violence against the person”, which includes harassment and common assault, as well as verbal abuse, spitting and “barging.”