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25/06/15 11:15

Scotland’s colleges back return of post study work visa

National Indian Students Union UK backs up calls for visa return.

All of Scotland’s colleges have backed the Scottish Government’s call for the return of a post study work visa for Scotland.

A statement of support for reintroducing a post study work visa to Scotland has now gathered 160 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 across industry.

The news comes as representatives of all major political parties in Scotland meet for the first time to work on reintroducing the post study work route to Scotland. Liz Smith (Conservative), John Finnie (Independent), Claire Baker (Labour), andLiam McArthur (Liberal Democrats) met Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf ahead of a formal meeting of the Cross Party Steering Group later this summer.

The National Indian Students Union (UK) have also backed Mr Yousaf’s call for a reintroduction of the visa.

Mr Yousaf said:

“Signatories from all of Scotland’s colleges have now backed our statement of support for the reintroduction of a post study work visa to Scotland.

“We have overwhelming support for this issue in Scotland, across all major political parties, industry and now throughout academia.

“Scotland’s needs are different to those in the rest of the UK. Scotland has a large, established migrant community and the Scottish Government welcomes the contribution new Scots are making to our economy and society.

“A post study work visa is an important lever for attracting the best international student talent, securing essential income streams, and allowing talented graduates to continue contributing to Scotland after their studies end.

“Once again, I am calling on the UK Government to take Scotland’s needs into account and deliver on the Smith Commission recommendation in this area.”

Shona Struthers, Chief Executive, Colleges Scotland said:

“The abolition of post-study work visas by the UK government in 2012 has been an issue of concern for Scotland’s colleges. These visas allowed graduates to work or set up businesses in the UK for 24 months, which retained skilled and educated graduates as part of the labour force.

“The re-introduction of a post-study work visas would attract more overseas students thus enhancing the college experience for all while retaining skilled graduates who contribute to our economy.

“We are pleased to see that the Scottish Government is focused on addressing this issue and has the full support of Scotland’s colleges.”

Alastair Sim, Director Universities Scotland, said:

“There is a compelling case to allow international students to work in Scotland after successfully completing their studies. The country would gain socially, culturally and economically by being able to retain international talent. Our universities would have a more competitive offer with which to attract students in a global marketplace. It would give international students the chance to start their careers and gain valuable work experience in a country they have made their home away from home.

"We urge the UK and Scottish Governments to work together, as recommended by the Smith Commission's final report, to implement a change in policy.”

Sanam Arora, President of the National Indian Students Union (UK)said:

“The National Indian Students Union UK fully supports the reintroduction of a Post Study Work Scheme and is thankful to the Scottish Government for their efforts in re-establishing the scheme.

“Changes to immigration rules since 2012 have led to a significant drop in the number of Indian students coming to the UK, a worrying trend given the advantages international students bring to the UK, both economically and otherwise. In the decision process of choosing a country to study in, the choice of post study work opportunities is a key factor, not because students want to settle abroad, but because of the desire and need to gain relevant work experience.

“We urge the UK government to recognise work experience post education as part of the overall Higher Education package and revive the Post Study Work visa.”

Notes to editors

Signatories supported the statement:

I/We the undersigned agree with the principle of a post-study work visa for Scotland, in order to allow talented international graduates from Scottish institutions to make welcome contributions to our education institutions, businesses, economy, demography and communities. I/We call on the UK Government to fully engage with the Scottish Government on the reintroduction of the post-study work route in Scotland.

A full list of the 160 signatories is below:

Individual's name

Name of Organisation

Ralph Leishman


Clare Frances Moran

Abertay University

Craig Vickery


Joyce Duncan


John Peebles


Fraser Durie

Argyll College UHI

Andy Doig

Arthurstone Management Limited

Bill Whibley

Aventa Systems Limited

Heather Dunk

Ayrshire College

Anthony Gerrard

Bad Idea Organisation C.I.C

Tony Banks

Balhousie Care Group

Colin Quinn

Be Positive

Peter Smith

Borders College

Gordon Kaye

Cathcart Associates

Ken Hay

Centre for the Moving Image

Frances A Buchanan*


James Brodie

China-Britain Business Council

Roy Gardner

City of Glasgow College

Jamie Carson

CMS Broadband

Jamie Coleman


Karon Davis

Codeplay Software Ltd

Shona Struthers

Colleges Scotland

Frances Christensen

Confucius Institute for Scotland

Donald Sannella

Contemplate Ltd

Lorraine Cook


Ben Twist

Creative Carbon Scotland

Paul Wilson

Cultivate Software Ltd

Nick Russel

Denchi Power

Barbara Robertson

Diamonds Human Resources Consultancy

Carol Turnbull

Dumfries and Galloway College

Christina Potter

Dundee and Angus College

Asha Ginda

ECCI, University of Edinburgh

Annette Bruton

Edinburgh College

Professor Andrea Nolan

Edinburgh Napier University

Gerry O'Donnell


Barrie Shepherd

Energy Technology Partnership

Leigh-Ann Donoghue

e-Placement Scotland

Andrew Ogilvie

Extraordinary Managed Services Limited

Angus MacCuish

F G Burnett

Eric Byiers

Fife Chamber of Commerce

Hugh Logan

Fife College

Colin Hewitt


Dr Ken Thomson

Forth Valley College

Andrew Spratt

FPSG Connect Ltd

Professor Pamela Gillies

Glasgow Caledonian University

Duncan McDougall

Glasgow Clyde College

James Gow

Glasgow Kelvin College

Professor Alison Phipps

Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network, University of Glasgow

Sarah Craig

Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network, University of Glasgow

Professor Rebecca Kay

Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network, University of Glasgow

Andrew Lennox

Global Connections ( Scotland ) Ltd

Alastair Kennedy

Global Energy Group

Gary Henderson

Grampian Fasteners

Conor MacGuire

Green Energy Scotland Limited

Julie Kirk

GreenPower Developments Ltd

Ruth Moir

Heriot Watt University

Marcus Kneen


Sophy Green

Instant Neighbour

David C Watt

Institute of Directors (Scotland)

Helen Willis

Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd

Diane Rawlinson

Inverness College UHI

Jon Cape

iPower Energy Ltd

Gavin Dutch


Andrew Williams


Iain Macmillan

Lews Castle College UHI

David Philip

Maclay Murray & Spens

Colin Munro


Nazek Ramadan

Migrant Voice

Anne Lindsay

Moray College UHI

Hisashi Kuboyama

Michael McGhee

Neo Environmental Ltd

Hazel Scott

New College Lanarkshire

Ann Southwood

Newbattle Abbey College

Kirsty Peebles

newsdirect (uk) ltd

Rob Wallen

North East Scotland College

Donald MacBeath

North Highland College UHI

Vonnie Sandlan

NUS Scotland

Christine Currie


Dr William Ross

Orkney College UHI

Andrew Fisher

Oscars International

Gameli Tordzro

Pan African Arts scotland

Hithendra Cheetirala

Perth College UHI

Mohammed Afzal


Alison Best

Prospect Scotland Ltd

Petra Wend

Queen Margaret University

Fiona O'May

Queen Margaret University

Oonagh O'Brien

Queen Margaret University

Micheal Matovu

Radiant and Brighter Community Interest Company

Ali Khajeh-Hosseini


Professor John Harper

Robert Gordon University

Kenneth Ross

Ross Developments & Renewables Ltd

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Bill Duguid

Ryden LLP

Professor Boyd Robertson

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Ashleigh McLennan


Professor Stephen Linton

School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews

Polly Purvis


Alan Thornburrow

Scottish Investment Operations

Ima Jackson

Scottish Migrant Network

David Robb

SgurrControl Limited

Irene Peterson

Shetland College UHI

Pauline Graham

Social Firms Scotland

Daniel Winterstein


Stewart McKillop

South Lanarkshire College

Jamie Spurway

Spurway Training

Janet Swadling


Lisa Dow

St. Andrews University

Brian Corcoran


Amanda Robertson*


Davis Fraser

Strathspey Railway Company Ltd

Andrew Hall

Sumdog Ltd

Gary Telfer

Ten Live Ltd.

Tom Inns

The Glasgow School of Art

Robert Swinfen

The Iona Community

Ken McNab

The Travel Company Edinburgh

Peter Docherty


Ken Sutherland

Toshiba Medical

Alastair Crawford

Triogen Ltd

Duncan Lane


Susannah Lane

Universities Scotland

Seth Kunin

University of Aberdeen

Frank Guerin

University of Aberdeen

Professor Pete Downes

University of Dundee

Alan Mackay

University of Edinburgh

Sir Timothy O'Shea

University of Edinburgh

Anuj Kapilashrami

University of Edinburgh

Dr. John Harries

University of Edinburgh

Zoe Marks

University of Edinburgh

Dr Sarah Hill

University of Edinburgh, Global Public Health Unit

David Newall

University of Glasgow

Dorothy Welch

University of Glasgow

Rachel Sandison

University of Glasgow

Anton Muscatelli

University of Glasgow

Nancy Donald

University of Glasgow

Wendy Muir

University of Glasgow

Ryan Reed

University of Glasgow

Jackie McCluskey

University of Glasgow

Tom Muir

University of Glasgow

Rhian Touyz

University of Glasgow

Ahmed Al-Waaly

University of Glasgow

Matthew Waites

University of Glasgow

Anna Dominiczak

University of Glasgow

Jack Aitken

University of Glasgow

Jenny Beattie

University of Glasgow

Elwira Grossman

University of Glasgow

Lauren Roberts

University of Glasgow

Professor Carron Shankland

University of Stirling

Professor Gerry McCormac

University of Stirling

Hugh Hall

University of Strathclyde

Ian Maclellan

University of Strathclyde

Professor Jeanne Keay

University of the West of Scotland

Katharine Baird

Viking SeaTech

Bruce Milne

Viscom (Aberdeen) Ltd

Jamie Graves


Bonnie Slade

University of Glasgow

Dr Michael Tribe

University of Strathclyde

Churnjeet Mahn

Private individual

Audrey Cumberford

West College Scotland

Lydia Rohmer

West Highland College UHI

Mhairi Harrington

West Lothian College

*indicates support as an individual not as a representative of the organisation.

Argyll College is not publically funded and so is not included as one of the 25 colleges.

Read more about the launch of the Cross Party Steering Group here:

Read more about the work of the Post Study Work Working Group and its report here