Universities UK has responded to the news that the government is to launch a fast-track visa system for the world’s best scientists, researchers and mathematicians.
The Global Talent visa system begins on 20 February.
The UK Research and Innovation Agency (UKRI), which funds government research, will manage the new system instead of the Home Office.
The government has also announced that it will double the number of eligible fellowships that enable individuals to be fast-tracked. Successful applicants would not require a job offer before arriving or be tied to one specific job.
Universities are globally connected and this announcement signals that the UK remains open to talent from around the world – Professor Julia Buckingham
“We share the Prime Minister’s vision to position the UK as a magnet for global science and research talent. The Global Talent visa is a positive step towards this for UK universities. The visa route will help to ensure that universities can attract the brightest scientists and researchers to the UK with minimal barriers,” said Professor Julia Buckingham, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of Brunel University London.
“Universities are globally connected and this announcement signals that the UK remains open to talent from around the world. Our universities carry out life-changing research and our knowledge base, economy, and wider society will benefit from the international staff we can attract through this visa route.”
The new, fast-track visas will replace the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. This was capped at 2,000 places a year, although the cap has never been reached.