International Graduate Entrepreneurs in the UK


In 2009-2010 the number of International students studying higher education in the UK totalled 405,810 which was a 10% increase from the years 2008-2009 UKCISA announced in their key statistics report using data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

The discipline with the highest percentage of International Students was Business and Administration where 33% of the the total students were internationals, closely followed by Engineering and Technology where international students made up 32% of the total students studying within this field.

In March 2011, the UK Border Agency announced the intention to create a new visa category within Tier 1 for Graduate Entrepreneurs. Which also contributes to Immigrations Minister Damien Greens recent affirmation about 'making immigration work for Britain'.

This new route allows the 'points based system' to ultimately be replaced by a 'contribution-based system'. This is of particular importance to students who have been involved in innovative entrepreneurial activities during their studies and want to stay on to develop their business ideas.

The funding threshhold previously required was £200,000 and to be provided by a Venture capitalist, Government Department or seed competition. This has been reduced to £50,000. Up to two Business Partners will be able to contribute as long as they both have equal access to the funding.

Successful entrepreneurs who create 10 full time jobs or whose company turn over reaches £5,000,000 a year may apply for settlement after three years.

Aston University has a sponsorship programme for their students which have demonstrated the necessary skills and meet all the requirements while they have been studying in the UK. The certificates of sponsorships available throughout the UK will be capped at 20,700 for Tier 2 of the General application from April 6th.

What implications do you think this will this have on the UK economy?

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Sources: Aston University