Press release

MillionPlus comment on the Tier 4 visa pilot extension

18 Dec 2017

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (18 December) commented on the extension of the government’s Tier 4 visa pilot.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“The announcement by the Home Office that the Tier 4 visa pilot will be extended to a further 23 institutions should be good news. However, it is disappointing that the government has not chosen to test this system on a truly diverse range of institutions. As a result, the pilot will be much narrower in scope.

“Ministers have stated that they are confident that all UK universities are highly compliant with the visa regulations, and every city and region benefit from the international students who contribute £14bn to the UK economy in fees and off-campus spend each year. Modern universities make up the majority of the UK’s higher education institutions, educating more than a million students and a third of the international students who study in the UK each year. For the government to have chosen only three smaller, specialist institutions and no modern universities, risks distorting a market in which a wide range of universities engage.

“The Department for International Trade and the Scottish Government have been working hard to promote all of the UK’s universities overseas. Limiting the Home Office pilot in this way suggests a puzzling lack of ambition and innovation at a time when it will be more important than ever for the Government to build on the strengths and achievements of modern universities throughout the UK.”


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. Modern universities: key facts 2017
  3. The pilot is looking at streamlining the process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK. Read more on the pilot extension in the government’s announcement here
  4. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email