The Liberal Democrats have made a commitment to reinstate post-study work visas for graduates in STEM subjects who find suitable employment within six months of graduating.
The manifesto commitment aims to tackle Britain’s chronic shortage of workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. The current system has driven away talent with global students choosing to study in America, Australia and Canada who have programmes to retain talent post-study.
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education, said:
“As Welsh Lib Dem Cabinet Secretary, I am determined to ensure that Welsh universities attract the best and brightest. Universities in Wales are world leaders and attract talent from around the globe. It is simply madness that we train such talented people and then, because of the Conservatives, we say they must leave.
“To tackle Britain’s chronic shortage of workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths, the Liberal Democrats are clear that we would reinstate post-study work visas for graduates in STEM subjects.
“It is absolutely essential that international students are taken out of net immigration targets. Cutting the numbers of international students is the definition of short-sighted. Rather than undermining our universities, the Tories should instead be encouraging the best and brightest in the world to study in the UK.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to build a Wales that is open, tolerant and united. This means bringing in and fostering talent, helping to boost our economy and keep Wales an attractive destination to study. This is your chance to change Wales’ future."