A growing number of universities in the UK are looking to charter flights
in a bid to bring overseas students to study in the country this year, it
has been revealed.
The news will bring relief to those landlords with private student
accommodation and are worried about whether overseas students will return
in September after the impact from the Covid-19 lockdown.
Some countries are still restricting travel but according to one leading
higher education news outlet, discussions are underway between companies
and universities to arrange flights.
The aim is to ensure students from India and China can return to the UK and
begin their studies in the country and avoid potential complications
because there are few scheduled services.
Among the universities that have already chartered flights include Queens
University Belfast, which will fly in students from Beijing in September.
The University of Bolton has also revealed that it is looking to fly
students in from China, India, as well as Africa.
Potential of chartering flights for overseas students
And now Universities UK International says it is looking to support
institutions who are examining the potential of chartering flights for
The organisation’s assistant director of policy, Jamie Arrowsmith, said
that the preferred outcome for universities is to use scheduled airline
However, universities appreciate that there is a demand from overseas
students wanting to come to the UK later this year and by chartering
flights they will overcome their travel barriers.
According to their travel experts, the cost for chartering a flight from
Beijing will cost around £900 per person on a full flight, which is less
than a scheduled service will cost.
Potential quarantine period
There are also issues over any potential quarantine period and transferring
students to their campus.
In a bid to work around this problem, universities are looking into working
together on a regional basis to offer the flight service and also spread
any potential risk.
Those areas with universities looking at charter flight possibilities
include South Wales, the Midlands, North West England and South West
New immigration laws may affect UK student landlords
Meanwhile, student landlords who have tenants from overseas need to be
aware that the UK’s immigration system will be moving to a points-based
offering from 1 January 2021.
The policy has been unveiled by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and under
the new criteria, anyone wishing to move to the UK will need to reach a
minimum of 70 points. The new system will apply to non-EU and EU citizens
And since landlords in England have to meet the ‘Right to Rent’
regulations, it is predicted that the rules will still be applicable, which
means that letting agents and landlords need to ensure that student tenants
have the right to live in the UK.
For landlords with student accommodation
However, for landlords with student accommodation, the Government's current
advice is that the student tenants will be assessed under the points-based
immigration system but will face slightly different issues.
Along with needing to prove that they have an offer from an approved
college or university, the overseas students also need to show they can
support themselves during their studies and also speak English