Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International, said:
'The Research and Development Roadmap published today by the UK government demonstrates a bold commitment to recruiting and retaining international talent, and to boosting our international research collaboration.'
'News that the Graduate Route, announced in September last year, is to be extended to allow PhD students to stay for three years rather than two is a fantastic development. The UK is a great place to do a PhD - and we will be fortunate to retain more PhD graduates to contribute to our research system and our economy after they complete their studies. This is part of a wider set of announcements which signal an ambitious drive to increase research investment to £22bn a year, and to make the UK an even better place to come for those who want to develop top-flight research careers.
'The government has also announced plans to streamline the process for students who want to come to the UK under the new Student Route, to be introduced this autumn. This includes extending the visa application window to six months; removing time limits on study at postgraduate level, and allowing all students to switch visa category within the UK, rather than having to return home as they currently do. All of these bold steps show that the UK government really appreciates international students.
'We are also pleased that the government has heeded our calls for stop-gap funding from January 2021 in case the UK is not able to secure full association in time for the start of the Horizon Europe programme. This commitment safeguards UK researchers' ability to continue to participate in collaborative EU projects, while also ensuring that UK universities can continue to attract talented researchers from across the world to work on ground-breaking research projects. Similarly, we welcome the government's pledge to grow support for international collaboration through bilateral and multilateral partnerships, as well as through Overseas Development Assistance programmes.'
'UUKi is committed to working with BEIS, UKRI and other stakeholders to realise the ambitions and address the shared challenges outlined in this roadmap.'