The United Kingdom, UK, is thinking of rolling out new immigration rules to control the number of students heading to study in Britain, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.
She however told the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham that a clampdown on immigration was not a case of pulling up the drawbridge on the brightest and best overseas students.
Immigration controls were one of the deciding factors in the June referendum when British voters decided to quit the European Union.
Rudd told the conference in a keynote speech the government will shortly be consulting on the next steps needed to control immigration, working at people who come to Britain to work or study.
She said Britain will look for the first time at whether student immigration rules should be tailored to the quality of the course and the quality of the educational institution.
She told delegates:” The current system allows all students, irrespective of their talents and the university’s quality, favourable employment prospects when they stop studying.”
Rudd said she was passionately committed to making sure Britain’s world-leading institutions can attract the brightest and the best.
“But a student immigration system that treats every student and university as equal only punishes those we should want to help,” she added.
Rudd said the consultation will ask what more can be done to support the best universities, and those that stick to the rules, to attract the best talent, while looking at tougher rules for students on lower quality courses.
Rudd also said Britain will examine whether to tighten the test companies have to take before recruiting staff from abroad.
She said: “British businesses have driven the economic recovery in this country, with employment at record levels. The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labor market, not taking jobs British people could do.”
She said the current system has become “a tick box exercise, allowing some firms to get away with not training local people”.
“We won’t win in the world if we don’t do more to upskill our own workforce. It’s not fair on companies doing the right thing. So I want us to look again at whether our immigration system provides the right incentives for businesses to invest in British workers.”
Her measures were directed as a warning to those that simply oppose any steps to reduce net migration, saying the government will not waver in its commitment to put the interests of the British people first.
Rudd outlined new rules for overseas people wanting to get a license to drive taxis as well as warning housing landlords could go to prison if they rent out property to people who have no right to be in Britain.