HUNDREDS of overseas students studying in Leamington will now be able to work in the area – boosting the local economy – thanks to a reform in student visas.
WCG – formerly Warwickshire College Group – which runs Leamington College has welcomed the change, which allows its students to work for 10 hours a week in term time, and full-time during holidays.
Until this coming academic year, overseas students have not been able to work while completing their studies in the UK.
The group typically enrols more than 400 international students from over 40 countries – mainly at its colleges in Leamington and Rugby. Many then move on to study degrees at universities inducing Warwick and Coventry.
WCG’s chief operating officer said the change spelled good news for local business.
Peter Husband said: “We feel this is very good news for our students, the local economy and for WCG. Students often want to combine working with their studies not only to help them fund their living costs but also to really get a flavour of the area.
“Until now that has not been possible and that has been quite restrictive on the students meaning that a cohort of bright, international, mostly young people have not been able to contribute to the local economy.
“By their very nature, they have language skills which would be of massive use particularly in their area and in a range of sectors, but especially tourism and leisure.
“If a student works locally during their time with WCG they are more likely to remain in the area when they leave us – and that has to be good for the local economy.”