The UK government has lifted a rule requiring international students to register with the police – a move widely praised by the country’s international education sector.
The home office had previously required those remaining in the UK for longer than six months to register their details including place of study with local police forces. Students had previously needed to pay a fee.
It withdrew the rule on August 4, which stakeholders have suggested will remove a cause of anxiety and stress for students, as well as smoothen the international student experience in the UK.
“The decision to abolish the Police Registration Scheme will be welcome news for universities and international students alike. UUK, along with others across the sector, had been calling for the scheme to be dropped for some time,” Harry Anderson, policy manager at Universities UK, said.
“The scheme was a significant administrative burden for international students”
“The scheme was a significant administrative burden for international students and there had been backlogs in the number of police appointments available. Given the information included as part of the Police Registration Scheme is already captured during the visa application process, it is right that the government has decided it is no longer required.”
UKCISA chief executive, Anne Marie Graham, also welcomed the abolition, which “will have an immediate benefit to the international student experience in the UK”.
“For many years, UKCISA and its members have called for the removal of this unnecessary bureaucracy, which causes anxiety and stress for international students,” she told The PIE.
Membership director at English UK, Huan Japes, also noted that the association for UK English language providers is “pleased that the home office is acknowledging that duplicate registration with the police is unnecessary since they already collect all the information they need through the student’s visa application”.
“Anything which simplifies the UK experience for students and schools is very welcome, and this change will improve the overall student experience,” Japes explained.