Government launches visa for graduates of world’s ‘best’ universities

The scheme known as the ‘High Potential Individual visa’ will be open to those graduates of universities considered among the world’s best

The government says it is to introduce a new graduate visa scheme for the alumni of the world’s best universities.

Described as a “high potential individual” route, those that graduated in the last five years from top universities outside the UK are eligible. The scheme welcomes applicants irrespective of where they were born and whether they have a UK-based job offer.

Applicants must have attended an institution that, in the year they graduated, appeared in the top 50 of at least two of three leading global university league tables. The government is using the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The visa entitles holders to stay in the UK for two years if they have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and three years if they hold a PhD. Migrants can extend their stay in the UK after the expiration of this new visa if they qualify for other long-term employment visas.

The league tables are dominated by American universities. The list of qualifying institutions released by the government features 20 US institutions. The 17 remaining institutions hail from across the globe, including Europe, Canada, East Asia, and Australia, but no African or South American universities made the list.

Read more: Researchers face ‘staggering’ visa costs and bureaucracy

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