TIGA statement on graduate VISAs and the benefits for the games industry

By May 22, 2024 May 23rd, 2024 Press Releases

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, said today that the Government should retain the Graduate Visa route, which allows overseas students to work in the UK for two years after completing their course.

The recent Review by the Migration Advisory Committee has underlined the positive contribution that international students make to the UK. The Review has recommended to the Government that it maintain the Graduate Visa route.

The Review found that about one third of foreign students take up a Graduate Visa on concluding their studies. About two thirds of such visas go to Higher Education establishments outside of the Russell Group of 24 universities.

Over two years, students on the Graduate Visa probably pay more in tax, National Insurance and a charge to use the NHS than it costs to let them stay in the UK.

Overseas students also contribute to the financial health of UK universities. This is important given that tuition fees for domestic students have been capped at £9,000 annually since 2012, despite inflation. As a result, universities make a loss of £2,500 on each student.[1] Overseas students help to cross-subsidise courses.

Dr Richard Wilson, OBE, TIGA CEO, said: “The university sector is one of the UK’s success stories, contributing to education, innovation and exports. The Graduate Visa route helps UK universities to compete in the market for overseas students. Key competitors including the USA, Australia and Canada, have similar programmes to the UK’s Graduate Visa.

“International students bring different ideas and perspectives, benefiting both domestic students and universities. They also make an important contribution to the finances of higher education.

“Successful economies are open to ideas, people and capital. We should retain the Graduate Visa route.”

TIGA works closely with universities to enhance games education. To find out more about TIGA’s University Accreditation programme, click here. To find out more about TIGA’s Games Education Conference click here.


Notes to Editors

About TIGA

TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 28 business awards and commendations. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. To this end, TIGA

Get in touch:

Tel: 0845 468 2330
Email: info@tiga.org
Web: www.tiga.org
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For press enquiries, please contact Lisa.Carter@mimrammedia.com or call her on 07970 164201.

[1] See “Britain risks throttling a golden goose”, Financial Times, May 16th 2024.


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