Foreign students studying in the UK will be forced to leave as soon as their course finishes following a new set of rules by Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Number 10 will also impose rules to stop foreign students working in the UK while studying.
The rules will apply to all students from outside the European Union, and have been hailed by ministers who say colleges are being used by foreign students as a “back door to a British work visa”.
Thousands of Nigerian students apply for UK visa every year with over 50% of the application rejected.
In justifying the decision, Ms May highlighted official figures which show 121,000 non-EU students entering the UK in 2014, but only 51,000 leaving.
Not only will non-EU student be banned from working while they study, but they will not be able to apply for a visa when their course finishes either.
While the move has gathered much support from Tory ministers, universities have warned of possible negative affects it could have.
Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, said the rules would stop immigration cheats abusing publicly-funded colleges.
“Immigration offenders want to sell illegal access to the UK jobs market – and there are plenty of people willing to buy,” he said. “Hardworking taxpayers who are helping to pay for publicly-funded colleges expect them to be providing top-class education, not a back door to a British work visa.
“Our reforms, which include introducing English language testing, removing sponsorship rights from hundreds of bogus colleges, and restricting students’ access to the jobs market, are all of our plan to control immigration for the benefit of Britain,” he said.
Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills at the Institute of Directors, however disagrees: “Britain already makes it difficult and artificially expensive for international students to enter and stay, and now these proposals would eject them ignominiously when their studies are finished.
“Restricting talented workers from staying on in the UK would damage business and lead to a loss of important skills.”
The plans will be presented to MPs next week.