Anthea Lipset reports on the Guardian:

The government is in danger of damaging British higher education by introducing new visa rules and raising charges without consulting the sector, vice-chancellors have warned.

More than 50,000 international students started undergraduate degrees at UK universities in 2008 with similar numbers on postgraduate courses, bringing with them important financial, academic and cultural benefits.

But vice-chancellors fear that an unexpected rise in fees to apply for a student visa will potentially put off overseas students in what is an increasingly competitive recruitment market.

They are also concerned about the timetable for implementing changes and that the IT system being set up by the government to register international students will be burdensome.

The Home Office has increased the fee for applying for a visa to study in the UK in 2009-10 from £99 to £145.

Visa fees for extensions via postal applications in the UK will increase from £295 to £357 and in-person applications from £500 to £565 – with additional costs for dependents.

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