Tuesday, 17 August 2010

List of Approved English Language Test Providers published for partners

The UKBA has published the list of Approved English Language Test Providers for partners joining or remaining in the UK. This testing of Partners' level of English is being introduced from 29 November 2010.

Click here to check the entire published list of English Language Test Providers.

UK Borrowing reached 14.5 Billion Pounds in June 2010

The UK Govt borrowed 14.5 Billion Pounds in June 2010, much higher than expected and only marginally down from the same amount a year ago. Even with large spending cuts the figures show that the UK Current budget deficit grew by 700 Million to reach 12,6 billion Pounds.

The Office for national statistics reported that the deficit figure was the highest recorded deficit figure ever for June.

The UK's net debt currently amounts to approximately 926.9 Billion Pounds which is almost equivalent to 63.9% of the UK's Gross Domestic Product, and other findings showed that UK was still deep in debt as total tax receipts rose by a mere 4% (weakest growth since Jan 2010)

UK Unemployment down but so are the Average Earnings

It was reported on August 12th that UK unemployment figures dropped 49,000 in March, April and May of this year BUT figures also showed that the average earnings has also slowed in the same period leading up to June.

Employment rose by 184,000 which makes it the largest hike of its kind since the same period in 1989. The employment figures spiked as the number of part time workers increased by a further 115,000 which suggests that job hunters are finding it more difficult to find full time work currently.

However the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of Full time employment also rose by an impressive 68,000 over the same period leading up to June 2010.

These figures demonstrate the 6th successive drop in the claims for Job seeker's Allowance (a drop of 3,800 approximately) which has surprised analysts who did not anticipate such a drop.

The Employment Minister , Chris Grayling confirmed that the numbers showed a "step in the right direction" and went on to admit " we do not underestimate the scale of the economic challenge we face". "The fact that there are still 5 Million people on out of work benefits underlines the scale of Britain's welfare challenge and shows we are right to radically overhaul our welfare system."

There was further cause for concern when when a survey of Employers done by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed that a third intended to cut jobs in the next 3 months.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Tier 4 English language testing introduced today

12 Aug 2010 Today the compulsory English language testing comes in to affect for all Tier 4 students who are studying a course in the UK that is below degree level.

Any student applying to study in the UK for one of these type courses has to show that they have a sufficient level of English and only certain approved test providers will be able to administer the tests. The approved list of English language test providers can change so it is a good idea to keep checking the UKBA website for the most updated list.

Please also note that this requirement will not apply for English courses in the UK.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

UK Govt Looks to tighten Student Visa Regulations

The UK Govt is looking into tightening the regulations for Student Visas in an attempt to regulate the growing number of Foreign Students that enter the UK. It has been reported that the numbers of non EU students entering the UK has risen by more than 75,000 in the last 12 months, added to that figure are the 31,000 dependents joining their partners studying in the UK.

When the points based system was introduced it was meant to be a lot harder for foreign students and workers to enter the UK but according to certain campaign groups the Student/ Tier 4 route has failed and according to them is in fact the same as before the points based system.

Damian Green, the UK's Immigration Minister, has confirmed that there will be a thorough review of the rules and also claimed that significant abuse of the student visa system has been taking place.

Each year there are many international students that enter the UK to take up legitimate studies for degrees at Universities within the UK. These institutions clearly view foreign students as an extremely lucrative income source especially with the current cuts to the Higher Education Budget, some research shows that a third of Universities intended to increase the number of students they would enroll in September.

Another main issue to be reviewed is the regulation that allows students to extend their stay in the UK after their studies and work legally.