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Minister hosts Post Study Work Visa summit

Published: 18 Nov 2015 11:46

Humza Yousaf and Post Study Work Steering Group consult with stakeholders.

Minister for Europe Humza Yousaf, as chair of the cross party working group on Post Study Work Visa, has convened a summit to consult with the education and business sectors on post study work visas ahead of the Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry on the issue.

Mr Yousaf welcomed the Scottish Affairs Committee's intention to hold an inquiry on this issue, ahead of hosting a stakeholder workshop on behalf of the cross-party Post Study Work Steering Group.

The Scottish Government is calling for the return of the Post Study Work Visa, which would allow international students to remain in Scotland after graduation and work for a limited period of time.

Speaking ahead of the workshop in Edinburgh this morning, Mr Yousaf said:

"Scotland's immigration needs are different to those of the rest of the UK and the return of the post study work visa would be an important economic lever of great benefit to Scotland.

"I'm delighted that the Scottish Affairs Committee is considering this important issue, there is consensus in Scotland, in business, and in education, that we need a return of the post study route to allow talented students to remain and contribute to the Scottish economy.

"The Scottish Government has been calling for the return of the post study visa over a period of years now and we have overwhelming support for this issue in Scotland, across all major political parties, industry and throughout academia.

"Despite this, the UK Government has failed to positively and meaningfully engage with us on this issue, to take Scotland's needs into account, and to deliver on the Smith Commission recommendation in this area.

"I intend to make representations to the Committee on this enquiry and ahead of that, I'm meeting with representatives from academia, student groups and business to hear the difference a return of the visa would make to them. I will reflect on what I hear in any evidence I provide to the committee, and will encourage the stakeholders I meet to submit evidence themselves."

Notes to editors

A statement of support for reintroducing a post study work visa to Scotland gathered 257 signatures, including all 25 of Scotland's publically funded colleges, the sector body Colleges Scotland, Universities Scotland, the representative body for Scotland's 19 Higher Education Institutions and representatives from 64 businesses.

The issue has received cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament, and Mr Yousaf chairs a cross-party steering group on post study work.