Snapshot: Foreign students
It was reported in The Economist that one headmaster recently asked a room full of foreign students whether they flew business class to Britain. Only a few hands went up suggesting that they were perhaps not as well-heeled as he had anticipated. Then one of them explained: they mostly fly first class instead.
One of our partners was lecturing at a Midlands business school last week and at the conclusion was collared by three of the foreign students whose questions were exclusively around the optimal investment strategy for the funds they need to invest in the UK to secure their “Tier 1” visas. These were introduced in 2008 to allow individuals to remain in the UK on a long term basis provided they invest over £1m in the UK for five years. If you wish to accelerate this process then £5m reduces the time to 3 years, £10m reduces it to two. That the students in question were referring to a two-year time frame revels that despite the visa restrictions the lure of a UK education remains a potent draw for wealthy emerging market talent.