Media Centre

Press releases

Image from iStock Photography

Are visa reforms attracting ‘the best and the brightest’ from overseas?

Researchers at Loughborough University have embarked on a project to explore whether new visa regulations are encouraging the best and the brightest overseas students to set up businesses in Britain.

Tier 1 visas, introduced into the UK in 2008 as part of its points-based system, are designed to attract high-value migrants. Tier 1 includes five categories, two of which - Graduate entrepreneur and Exceptional talent - are included in this study.

The Graduate entrepreneur visa was introduced last year and allows non-European MBA and other graduates to extend their stay after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK. Exceptional talent is for people who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts, who want to work in the UK.

Dr Adam Warren and Dr Liz Mavroudi from Loughborough University’s Department of Geography are speaking to individuals and organisations that advise potential Tier 1 applicants, as well as the applicants themselves at universities across London and the Midlands.

They hope to understand the perceptions of these ‘high value’ migrants and their experiences of applying to work in the UK via the Tier 1 route, investigate how the new visas are being implemented and managed at institutional level, and examine how these changes contribute to the UK policy of attracting ‘the best and the brightest’.

Dr Warren said:

“By speaking to individuals from across the application process we hope to better understand how Tier 1 visas work in practice, and evaluate whether they are effective in attracting high value migrants and encouraging them to stay in the UK. Ultimately, we hope this study will contribute to Government policymaking in this area.”  

This study builds on previous work by Warren and Mavroudi on skilled migrants and entrepreneurship in the UK.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/117

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. It has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league, and in recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


Amanda Overend
Public Relations Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224