Scotland has a long history with immigration and we’ve made it pretty clear over the last few years that we firmly believe in the long-term benefits of a post-study work system for international graduates of our universities and colleges. It all kicked off initially in 2004 wih the launch of the ‘Fresh Talent Initiative’ which was launched by the then First Minister, Jack McConnell as a way of arrested a declining population.
Alas, Fresh Talent was subsumed by Westminster in 2008 when the Government brought in Points Based Immigration.
HOWEVER, a pretty heavy campaign has been brewing to expand post-study work rights for international students in Scotland over the last two years. It culminated early this year with formal proposals to the UK government to extend additional post-study work rights to foreign graduates in Scotland and although the British government have rejected those proposals, The Scottish Parliament has since continued to lobby for change. There’s a clear view among educators, political parties, and Scottish businesses that the current visa policy has had a significant negative economic impact in Scotland.
It’s actually pretty interesting, and there’s lots to think about as we continue to push for change. You can read the full article below.