Let overseas students work for two years in the UK, urge cross-party MPs
1st May 2019
Overseas students would be able to work for two years after graduation under a proposed amendment to the immigration bill.
The amendment will be tabled by Jo Johnson, the former universities minister, and Paul Blomfield, a Labour MP and co-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on international students.
Students were allowed to work for two years after graduation until 2012 and the restoration of the post-study work period would align the UK more closely with competitor countries such as Australia and the US.
In a second change it would also ensure that the number of overseas students cannot be capped in future to comply with the net migration target. It would require any future government introducing a cap to secure parliamentary approval, locking down existing policy commitments in primary legislation for the first time.
The amendment has been tabled to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill which is due to return for its report stage and third reading soon.
Major private school chain quits Teachers’ Pension Scheme
At least ten private schools are in talks with a school leaders’ union about pulling out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), with one major chain already set to move staff out.
The potential exodus could leave state schools facing further pension contribution hikes to fill a “black hole” in the scheme.
Employer contributions will rise from 16.4 per cent to 23.6 per cent in September, which the Department for Education said it would fund for state schools until the next spending review.
Independent schools say the increased contributions could force them to close or raise fees. The department is now considering allowing private schools to leave the TPS “via a phased withdrawal”.
Private schools are not obliged to join the TPS, but they need government permission to do so. They are free to leave when they want, and must simply write to the education secretary. At that point all their teachers are withdrawn.
Alpha Plus Group has already written to Damian Hinds over moving all its 20 private schools and colleges, some of which are already in a pension scheme with Scottish Widows, out of the TPS from September.
A spokesperson said the group did “not wish to pass on the increased costs of the mandated changes to the TPS to parents” – and wanted all staff in the same scheme.
The group would “maintain the current level of employer contributions” of 16.4 per cent for ten years, they added.