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London mayor pushes to ease visas for foreign students

posted Nov 26, 2012, 5:13 AM by Mpelembe   [ updated Nov 26, 2012, 5:13 AM ]

London Mayor Boris Johnson calls for a more welcoming attitude to foreign students in the UK, during a visit to India, saying the visa system should not become a deterrent.

NEW DELHIINDIA, (NOVEMBER 26, 2012) (REUTERS) -  London Mayor Boris Johnson on Monday (November 26) appealed for a softening of visa rules to encourage greater numbers of overseas students to travel to the UK.

"We need to make sure the visa system is not a deterrent to international students and in so far as adding these extra stipulations like the need to have a salary up to a certain amount before you're allowed to stay on," he said.

Johnson said that overseas students prop up the British higher education system.

"With that fee income from foreign students - let us not beat about the bush - that helps to subsidise the rest of the university system."

The British government has introduced new student visa restrictions that could mean universities will lose between five and eight billion pounds (eight - 13 billion U.S. Dollars) in funding.

Johnson is on a six-day tour to India to promote business links.