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UK work visas for foreign graduates to be extended to two years

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UK work visas for foreign graduates to be extended to two years

International students are to be offered a two-year work visa after graduating from a British university, the government will announce, overturning a key plank of Theresa May’s restrictive immigration policies.

Currently, graduates with bachelors or master’s degrees are allowed to look for work for only four months. From next year all international graduates could qualify for a two-year period to work in the UK, increasing their chances of finding long-term employment after studying.

The measure goes further than the Home Office’s latest immigration white paper, which proposed extending the four-month limit to six months and the limit for those with doctorates to a year.

It is a return to the policy that was scrapped by the coalition government in 2012. May as home secretary said the two-year post-study work visa was “too generous”.

That move was blamed for a drop in international student enrolments. Jo Johnson, who resigned as universities minister last week,

has campaigned for post-study visas to be extended, and in April he tabled an amendment to the immigration bill calling for two-year work visas.

Under the new policy, the visas would have no cap on numbers and would allow graduates to apply for jobs regardless of their skills or the subject they studied. The government said part of the aim was to recruit talented graduates in disciplines such as maths, engineering and technology.

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said: “The important contribution international students make to our country and universities is both cultural and economic. Their presence benefits Britain, which is why we’ve increased the period of time these students can remain in the UK after their studies.

“Our universities thrive on being open global institutions. Introducing the graduate route ensures our prestigious higher education sector will continue to attract the best talent from around the world to global Britain.”

The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by universities UK, which represents 130 institutions. Its members are braced for falling numbers of students from the EU in the event of Brexit.

Alistair Jarvis, the chief executive of Universities UK, said the previous visa regime put the UK at a “competitive disadvantage” in recruiting international students.

“The introduction of a two-year post-study work visa is something Universities UK has long campaigned for and we strongly welcome this policy change, which will put us back where we belong as a first-choice study destination,” Jarvis said. “Not only will a wide range of employers now benefit from access to talented graduates from around the world, these students hold lifelong links with the UK.”

Last year UK universities educated around 460,000 international students, not including those from within the EU. The government aims to grow the number to 600,000 over the next 10 years.

Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said the move highlighted the “foolishness” of the government’s £30,000 salary minimum for existing work visas. She said: “Many of the graduates doing fantastic medical and other research earn less than that. Government policy will prevent us from attracting them to live and work here.”

The Department for Education (DfE) said the new immigration route would be available to international students “who have successfully completed a course in any subject at undergraduate level or higher at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance, and have tier 4 [visa] at the point the route is introduced,” starting from next year.

The DfE said the route would allow students to look for work at any level, and allow them to later apply for longer-term work visas. “Those on the route will be able to switch on to the skilled work route if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the route,” the DfE said.

Source: theguardian.com

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General News

One suspect arrested over Tsopoli killings

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One suspect arrested over Tsopoli killings

One person has been apprehended in connection with the killing and burning of a family of three at Zutsukpo, a suburb of Tsopoli in the Ningo-Prampram District of Accra.

The suspect, Ali Kofi Sowunu, 60-year-old believed to be the nephew of the deceased, is cooling off in the cells of the Prampram police.

Confirming the arrest to DGN online, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mohammed Issah Cantona, Prampram District Police Commander said the suspect allegedly threatened the deceased prior to his death over a yet to be establish misunderstanding that ensued between them.

According to him, the police received a report about the threat and cautioned the suspect.

“Two Sundays ago, Mother of the deceased lodged a complaint against the suspect for threatening her son. He was said to have threatened the deceased that, he’ll stop him from farming in the area and ensure he vacates the village.”

The Commander said the suspect has been picked up to assist with investigation and safety.

“Some relatives of the deceased are threatening to revenge so we quickly pick this suspect for safety because we had information that some members of the deceased family are planning to revenge,” according to DSP Cantona.

He indicated that the suspect has, however, denied his involvement in heinous crime.

Last Thursday night, a family of three were shot, set ablaze and burnt beyond recognition by unknown assistants at Zutsukpo.

They were said to have gone to fetch water at Tsopoli and were returning home when the incident occurred.

The deceased persons, Joshua Kwaw Koranteng Oman, Gladys Sophia Delali Tetteh and their son, Ackuaku Oman were shot and killed by the assailants who laid ambushed in the bush near their house.

The assailants after the killing, packed the three deceased persons at the front seat of the Nissan picked-up with registration number GW 8970 V, which they were travelling with and set them ablaze that night at about 6:30 pm.

DSP Cantona said the suspect will be arraign before court after investigation.

Source: dailyguidenetwork.com

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Rawlings leads Ghana delegation to Mugabe’s funeral

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Rawlings leads Ghana delegation to Mugabe’s funeral

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has dispatched a government delegation led by former President Jerry Rawlings to represent Ghana at the funeral of the late Robert Mugabe.

The funeral of the former Zimbabwean president will be held on Saturday, 14th September 2019, in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.

The delegation led by the 1st President of the 4th Republic, Jerry John Rawlings includes; the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu; a nephew of the late Sally Mugabe, Mr. Queesy Ninsin-Imbeah; and officials of the Foreign Ministry.

Robert Mugabe whose first wife was the late Sally Mugabe, neè Hayfron, a Ghanaian, died after battling ill health in a Singapore hospital.

Mugabe died at the age of 95 on September 6, 2019.

Mr Mugabe was ousted from power in a military coup in November 2017, ending his three-decade reign.

Zimbabwe’s education secretary Fadzayi Mahere tweeted: “Rest In Peace, Robert Mugabe.”

He was born on 21 February 1924, in what was then Rhodesia.

He was imprisoned for more than a decade without trial after criticising the government of Rhodesia in 1964.

In 1973, while still in prison, he was chosen as president of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu), of which he was a founding member.

Source: starrfm.com.gh

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PDS deal: MiDA shifting blame to Bawumia – ACEP suspects ‘mischief’

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PDS deal: MiDA shifting blame to Bawumia - ACEP suspects 'mischief'

Transaction advisors in a concession agreement with energy company, Power Distribution Services (PDS) have been accused of shifting blame after controversy gutted the agreement.

In the controversy, Power Distribution Services (PDS) have been found to lack the financial capacity to provide $12.5m in guarantees when they took over ECG management in March 2019.

PDS has been suspended. But the agreement to provide demand guarantees has been now downgraded to insurance guarantees.

Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) who are the transaction advisors commissioned an investigation into the PDS deal.

In its report, it mentions a meeting in the Office of the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia attended by top government officials including Finance and Energy ministers and the Chief of Staff.

It was at this meeting that the decision was taken to convert payment guarantees to insurance guarantees.

ACEP Executive Director Ben Boakye wants to know the position of the transaction advisors on that decision.

“They cannot sit aloof and say that we didn’t do anything,” he said on JoyNews late evening program, PM Express.

Ben Boakye noted that several sources have pointed to pressure from MIDA and IFC to push through the PDS agreement.

But in the report, the energy expert said he observed that there was “a very crafty attempt to exonerate the transaction advisors and start pointing fingers at some people.”

The ACEP Executive Director said his checks show MiDA no longer publishes minutes of Board meeting since the controversy began.

Before that, the transaction advisor regularly did so, he said. “We want to see what advice they gave to the government”, he pushed for the publication of the minutes.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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