The pilot also provides greater support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for six months after they have finished their course.
Commenting on the government announcement, Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “International students bring huge cultural and economic benefits to the UK and the evidence shows the overwhelming majority comply with the terms of their visa, no matter which university they choose.
"It is positive that the Government clearly recognises the benefits of international students and is extending post-study work opportunities to help make the UK a more attractive destination for international students. In the near future we hope the Government will go further to improve post-study work opportunities for students at all universities across the UK.
"As global competition for international students increases, the UK needs to further improve the visa regime for international students to ensure the that UK remains an attractive and welcoming destination for study."