By Dhaka Mirror : dhakamirror.com
Graduates from the world’s top universities now have a new route into the United Kingdom.
The government says the “high-potential individual” route will attract the “brightest and best” early in their careers.
Under the scheme announced on Monday, graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from the top 50 universities abroad can apply for a two-year work visa, and those with doctorates can apply for a three-year visa.
They will be allowed to bring family members with them and be able to switch to longer-term employment visas, the government said.
Under the new scheme, applicants must have been awarded degrees no more than five years before the date of application.
Eligible universities must appear in the top 50 rankings of at least two of the following: the Times Higher Education world university rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Quacquarelli Symonds world university rankings.
The most recent list of eligible universities from 2021, published online by the UK government, comprised more than two dozen US universities, as well as institutions in Canada, Japan, Germany, China, Singapore, France and Sweden.
The government said candidates must pass a security and criminality check, and be able to speak, read, listen and write English at an intermediate level.
Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, said this would enable Britain to grow as an international hub for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
“We want the businesses of tomorrow to be built here today – which is why I call on students to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to forge their careers here,” Sunak said.
Some academics have voiced their disappointment that no South Asian, Latin American or African universities have been included on the list.
Christopher Trisos, director and senior researcher at the University of Cape Town, told the BBC that it is a deeply inequitable approach.
He said that if the UK wants to play a role in addressing the major challenges of this century, such as energy access, climate change and pandemics, “then they need to be recognising and including diverse skills and in-depth knowledge held by many graduates from universities in developing countries”.
– Input from Al Jazeera and BBC was used in this article