01 International Students Contribute £37 Billion to the UK Economy
According to The Times, international students have made a net contribution of approximately £37 billion to the UK economy, including expenses for their dependents.
Amid speculation of government plans to restrict the number of visas issued to dependents of international students in order to reduce immigration, a new report has revealed their economic impact to be nearly ten times greater than the gains from immigration.
It is estimated that first-year international students in the 2021-2022 academic year brought a total benefit of around £41.9 billion to the UK economy during their studies, marking a 34% increase from £31.3 billion in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Research jointly released by Universities UK International (UUKi), the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), and Kaplan International Pathways reveals that even after considering an estimated £4.4 billion in public service costs, the total net benefit generated by international students amounts to £37.4 billion.
The report indicates that the projected economic benefits include tuition fee income, income related to living expenses, and income associated with visits from friends and family.
Researchers also estimate that international students in the 2021-22 academic year contributed an average of £58 million per parliamentary constituency, equivalent to £560 per citizen.
The constituencies with the highest net impact benefits are Glasgow Central (£292 million), Holborn and St Pancras (£291 million), and Sheffield Central (£273 million).
02 New Wave of International Flight Resumptions!
According to the Civil Aviation Resource Network, on May 22, 2023: Several international flight routes have recently resumed operations.
After a 3-year hiatus, direct flights between Los Angeles and Shanghai are back!
China Eastern Airlines has officially resumed the operation of the Shanghai Pudong-Los Angeles route. Flight MU583 arrived in Los Angeles on May 20, local time, and the return flight, MU586, departed from Los Angeles on May 21. It is expected to arrive in Shanghai on May 22 at 17:29.
Multiple Airlines Increase Australia-China Flights! Significant Increase in Chinese Tourists at Sydney Airport
Geoff Culbert, CEO of Sydney Airport, stated, “We are pleased to see that the number of Chinese citizens visiting Sydney has recovered to over 50% of pre-pandemic levels, especially considering that the border only fully reopened in March.”
“By the end of this month, Sydney Airport will have seven mainland Chinese carriers operating 30 weekly round-trip flights, with more flights to be added soon. This is quite remarkable, considering that earlier this year we had only three airlines operating four round-trip flights to mainland China per week.”
Qantas also announced the resumption of flights to China, with daily flights between Sydney and Shanghai commencing on October 29.
Air China resumes Beijing Capital-Dalian-Fukuoka flights on June 7.
Air China continues to increase capacity to Japan, with Beijing Capital-Nagoya flights resuming on May 19, 2023, and Beijing Capital-Dalian-Fukuoka flights resuming on June 7, 2023.
03 Harvard University Report: 84% of Admitted Students Confirm Enrollment
In a recent press release, Harvard University announced that approximately 84% of the admitted students for the Class of 2027 have confirmed their enrollment.
In a recent press release, Harvard University announced that approximately 84% of the admitted students for the Class of 2027 have confirmed their enrollment. This figure represents a slight increase compared to last year’s yield rate of 83%, but it is slightly lower than the record-breaking 85% enrollment rate for the Class of 2025.
A total of 56,937 students applied to Harvard University for the Class of 2027, resulting in an admission rate of 3.41%.
According to the press release, due to the high enrollment rate, only a small number of students will be admitted from the waitlist. This year, Harvard University also admitted 13 transfer students.
Among the incoming students, 29.8% are Asian Americans, which is an increase of over 2% from the Class of 2026. Black students make up 14.1% of the class, while the percentage of Latinx students has decreased from 11.9% in the previous year to 11.1%. Native American and Native Hawaiian students account for 2.3% of the incoming class, lower than the 3.6% in the previous year.
Approximately 29.8% of incoming students plan to focus on social sciences, while another 30.2% are interested in natural sciences. Over 16% of the new students express an interest in computer science and engineering, while 16.3% plan to concentrate on humanities. The remaining students have yet to decide on their major.
The admitted students for the Class of 2027 come from all 50 states of the United States and 102 countries. Over 15% of the incoming class consists of international students.
According to the press release, females and males account for 53% and 47% of the class, respectively. This continues the trend of at least half of the incoming class being female for the past six years.
04 Official Announcement! UK Plans to Restrict Dependent Visas for International Students, Effective from 2024
The UK government announced on May 23rd local time that in order to curb the immigration surge since December 2022, several new regulations will be implemented regarding visa applications for international students.
Foreign Postgraduate Students in Non-Research Programs Not Allowed to Bring Dependents to the UK
The Home Office has announced that foreign postgraduate students in non-research programs will no longer be allowed to bring their dependents to live with them in the UK. However, this policy will not affect doctoral students as they fall under the category of “high-skilled migrants.”
For a significant period of time, the UK government has allowed overseas postgraduate students to apply for dependent visas for their children and spouses to join them in studying and living in the country.
In terms of purpose and restrictions, the dependent visa has been considered even more advantageous than work visas, as it does not require the 5-year permanent residency path.
However, in recent years, this policy has been exploited by many individuals. The newly introduced restrictions on dependent visas enable the UK government to continue fulfilling its commitment to international education strategy while making a tangible contribution to reducing net migration to sustainable levels.
The UK government has also explicitly stated that the terms of the Graduate Visa route remain unchanged. This means that dependent visas, which were previously attached to the student visa before the reforms, can continue to be attached to the Graduate Visa once the student visa holder transitions to the Graduate Visa, allowing them to apply for a new dependent visa.
Non-graduate students are not allowed to apply for work visas
In addition to the changes in dependent visas, the UK Home Office has announced another significant reform. To prevent abuse of the visa system, overseas students are prohibited from switching to any form of work visa route before completing their studies while holding a student visa.
The mentioned work visa routes include the Innovator Founder visa, Skilled Worker visa, Expansion Worker visa, Scale-up visa, and Global Talent visa, among others.
In addition, the UK government will also review the financial requirements for student visa and dependent visa applicants (before the new policy takes effect in 2024) to ensure they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their families while living in the UK. Furthermore, the government aims to crack down on unethical international student agencies that may assist students in obtaining visas through improper means.
05 Major Reforms in UK Rental Housing Policy Announced!
On the 17th, the UK government unveiled significant changes to rental housing policy with the introduction of “The Renters’ (Reform) Bill.”
In addition to ending no-fault evictions, the bill aims to grant people the legal right to keep pets in their homes.
Landlords will be required to consider these requests and cannot unreasonably refuse them. Let’s now focus on the key reforms outlined in the latest announcement:
Abolition of Section 21 “No-Fault Evictions” under the Housing Act
The most notable reform in “The Renters’ (Reform) Bill” is the abolition of Section 21 “No-Fault Evictions” under the Housing Act introduced in 1988.
In simple terms, landlords will no longer be able to terminate tenancies without any valid reason, preventing “no-fault evictions” of tenants.
This provision has long been criticized by renters, who argue that it puts them at a disadvantage, especially during periods of a sluggish rental market when short-term tenants struggle to secure stable living conditions.
With the abolition of Section 21 “No-Fault Evictions,” landlords will now need to terminate tenancies and regain possession of the property based on valid grounds specified under Section 8 of the Housing Act.
This provision requires landlords to provide a justifiable reason for terminating the tenancy and give advance notice of termination to the tenant.
Prohibition of Landlords from Banning Pets, Unless There Are Valid Reasons
Another widely welcomed reform in “The Renters’ (Reform) Bill” is the prohibition of landlords from banning tenants from keeping pets, unless there are valid reasons to do so. If landlords refuse, tenants will have the right to challenge their decision.
Data shows that currently, around 4.4 million households in the UK live in privately rented accommodations, yet only 7% of landlords explicitly allow pets in their rental advertisements.
The Cats Protection, a charity organization dedicated to cat welfare, has long campaigned for changes to these regulations. They estimate that there are one million households in the UK unable to fulfill their desire to own cats due to renting restrictions.
Expansion of “Decent Home Standards” to the Private Rented Sector
The rental housing reforms announced by the UK government also include the extension of the current “Decent Home Standards” applicable to social housing to the private rented sector. This aims to ensure that individuals do not live in damp, unsafe, or cold homes.
Specifically, landlords will need to meet minimum housing standards in the following areas:
– The property must meet the existing minimum requirements under the Housing Act and undergo an assessment by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, with no “Category 1 Hazards” present.
– The overall condition of the property should be good, with no significant disrepair or urgent repair issues in the main structure.
– The property should have reasonable modern facilities and services, including a functional kitchen, bathroom, sound insulation, and common areas.
– The property should provide adequate heating facilities.
Other Legal Provisions
– Reducing notice periods for evicting irresponsible tenants (e.g., causing property damage or rent arrears).
– Assisting landlords in ending tenancies more quickly when selling a property or when new family members need to move in.
– Authorizing a designated officer to provide faster and more