Visa changes could help local campuses, says MP

New visa rules allowing overseas students to work in the UK for two years after graduation should benefit Dumfries and Galloway campuses.

Local MP and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has welcomed the Government decision to update the rules, dating from 2012, which meant international students had to leave the country four months after graduation.

Mr Jack expressed the hope the move, announced on Wednesday, would encourage more overseas students to study in the region and perhaps help fill skill gaps by beginning their career here.

International students in all subjects, university graduates and postgraduate, will be eligible.

Mr Jack has been supportive of calls from the higher education sector on both sides of the border for the changes and he hopes the new proposals go some way to meeting concerns.

He said: "This is a very positive step which will be welcomed widely in the higher education world.  

"Across the country it could also encourage more research projects and attract investment.

"It is a big step forward over the previous policy which limited the options for international students and staff members from overseas."