The idea of interviewing the candidates in the countries of their origin is good [to be introduced in Pakistan by UKBA]. This will help, although is not guaranteed, to assess the intentions of the students. The major incentive of interviewing the candidates back home is that the Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) would be able to assess the English language competency of students, especially in the event of many students producing fake IELTS or other SELT (Secured English Language Test) result.
One counter-argument could be that ECOs are not trained or qualified to assess somebody’s English competency. In response to this, I would like to say that even a non-native speaker of proficient English communicating with somebody can assess whether the person in front is able to speak English or not.
Therefore, one does not need a qualification to assess somebody’s English. Ideally, having trained personnel is excellent but not mandatory. If we talk about idealism, one must also be assessed in their English writing capability. Universities do include a section in their application forms which requires the candidate to summarise their profile, past experience and future ambitions. This must help in the assessment but should be taken as an additional step and not the only tool.
Proficiency in English language is vital if you are coming to study in an English-speaking country to study. Once these measures are implemented strictly, there is no harm in providing work opportunities to international students as work experience will help them to enhance their learning.
While on their course of study, students have to submit assignments based on their experiential curve. Work experience can help the students to implement what they have learnt at the workplace in their course work and vice versa. Work is coherent to their studies and international students must not be deprived of that.
Post-study work will help the international students to gain vital experience and apply what they have learnt. They will enrich themselves by learning work practices different from their home countries and will transport the experience back home.
Curtailing work experience and post-study work could be likened to depriving the students from gaining valuable experience which is an integral part of learning process.
What the government can do, in order to discourage the students from staying in UK permanently is to remove the post-study work visa from contributing towards the residency and permanent settlement.
These measures can ensure that only genuine students come to UK to study and work and leave the country after their purpose is achieved.
Murad Ali works as an Operations Manager for a private independent college in the UK. He has been in this industry for five years and started as a lecturer.