English language schools have won a reprieve against tighter visa regulations for foreign students which they warned would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and millions of pounds a year in foreign earnings.
The new regulations – introduced by Labour’s last Home Secretary, Alan Johnson – prevented students with only beginner’s English from entering Britain for English language courses.
But today Mr Justice Foskett, sitting in the High Court, declared the fresh restrictions had been achieved through altering guidelines when there should have been a formal change to the rules, with the matter referred back to Parliament.
Tony Milns, chief executive of English UK, said: ”This judgment upholds our basic case that the Home Secretary was wrong to introduce a substantive change … without laying that change before Parliament.
”We are pleased that Mr Justice Foskett saw the merits of our case and we believe that his decision is good for the UK economy, to which the English language sector contributes about £1.5 billion in foreign earnings each year.”
English UK estimates today’s ruling has saved ”more than £3,000 jobs and over £600 million a year in foreign earnings”.
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