UWTSD selected to take part in a pilot scheme for international students


University of Wales Trinity Saint David is one of only two Welsh universities to have been chosen to take part in a UK Government pilot scheme aimed at attracting more international students to the UK.

International Students

A total of 23 institutions from across the UK have been selected to help look at simplifying the visa application process that prospective international students have to undertake in order to enrol onto masters programmes.

The scheme offers several important advantages for students applying for a Tier 4 visa to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less, including a streamlined visa application process and greater support for students wishing to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for 6 months after they have finished their course.

This is the second year of the pilot scheme and having initially been trialled at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, a further 23 universities have been asked to take part.  All universities taking part on the scheme are being given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications. Applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused and all students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks.

“This is extremely positive news for both UWTSD and for Wales,” says Professor Medwin Hughes DL, UWTSD’s Vice Chancellor. 

“The fact that the University has been selected to take part in this important pilot scheme attests our commitment to meeting the requirements and responsibilities of sponsoring Tier 4 students.  We are recognised for having a low refusal rate for Visa applications because of the stringent recruitment and compliance processes we’ve implemented.

“It is very much appreciated that these efforts have led to this offer of participation in what is a very exciting pilot scheme,” adds Professor Hughes. “UWTSD of course recognises the on-going responsibility this brings and we will ensure that the high level of compliance we have maintained in this area continues throughout the pilot period and beyond.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome more international students to the university through this scheme and to further enhance our global relationship and developing the next generation of global citizens.” 

Developing international activity through establishing a strong international presence and profile remains of crucial importance to UWTSD to maximise opportunities for student recruitment, collaboration and research.  The University is committed to ensuring that its student experience is enriched by the presence of international students, and staff, on campus.  

The additional 23 universities to benefit from the pilot include UWTSD and Cardiff University in Wales as well as two universities in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and a number of institutions from across England.

UK Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.

“The UK continues to be the second most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010.

“This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.

The most recent Home Office statistics show that the number of students applying for visas increased by 8% over the past year, and there has been a 9% increase in the number of students applying to Russell Group universities.

The 23 additional universities will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018/19 intake. The universities were selected as their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.

Note to Editor

  1. The 23 universities to be added to the pilot are: Cardiff University, Goldsmiths University of London, Harper Adams University, Newcastle University, Queen’s University Belfast, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of Bristol, Durham University, University of East Anglia, University of Edinburgh, University of Essex, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Reading, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Swansea Campus), University of Warwick, University of York

Further Information


For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk