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Imperial College London announces visa refund scheme to support international students

For immediate use
Thursday 1 June 2006

International students studying at Imperial College London will be refunded the initial cost of obtaining a UK visa under a new scheme announced today.

Visa refund scheme aims to make it easier for international students to come to Imperial

From 1 October 2006, the College will repay undergraduate and postgraduate international students starting a course at Imperial the £85 cost of obtaining a visa. The funds will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of all eligible students in January of the year following enrolment. Sir Richard Sykes Opens in new window, Rector of the College, says:

There are no borders when it comes to scientific research and we are keen to make sure Imperial continues to attract the best students from around the world regardless of nationality. Leaving your home country to study abroad can be a daunting prospect so its important that we make it as easy as possible by removing any unnecessary difficulties.

Students from outside the European Union are required to obtain a UK visa before leaving their home country to come to the UK. This one-off fee, which rose from £36 to £85 in 2005, allows students to remain in the UK for the length of their course.

In the year 2004-05 there were 2,959 international students at Imperial, making up 26.5% of the total student body.

For further information contact:

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701

Notes to editors:

Top ten non-UK nationalities at Imperial are:

Greece (EU)
France (EU)
Germany (EU)
Italy (EU)
Cyprus (EU)

Further statistics are at

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.