Graduating PhD Students in the UK Can Now Stay for 3 Additional Years for Work

King 's College

Good news today from the UK: if you’re an international PhD student in the UK graduating from 2021 and beyond, you could be eligible to stay for an additional three years after you graduate- plus, you’ll have an easier time finding work.

The UK is trying to increase their world superpower status in the realm of research and development. Their goal is to increase investment into research and development to 2.4% of their annual GDP 2027. And by 2024-2025, they plan to increase public funding for the research and development sector by £22 million per year.

This is a big deal for graduating international PhD students getting their degrees in the UK because along with public funding for R&D, the country will also be loosening immigration requirements in order to attract the world’s best talent.

They’ll be setting up an “Office for Talent” to do just that: attract and retain the world’s best minds.

Here’s what the UK government’s Road Map said about how they’re going to do it:

“We will do this through a new R&D People and Culture Strategy. We will increase the attractiveness and sustainability of careers throughout the R&D workforce – not just for researchers, but also for technicians, innovators, entrepreneurs and practitioners. We will set up an Office for Talent which will take a new and proactive approach to attracting and retaining the most promising global science, research and innovation talent to the UK,” the Road Map reads.

And here’s more good news for our upcoming PhD graduates: the Office for Talent is going to start working on this immediately; they will begin revising current immigration rules and ensure that people trying to immigrate (especially for the purposes of R&D) will have an easier time doing so.

All of this comes at a time when the world could be facing a large recession on account of the COVID-19 crisis, which is leading superpowers like the UK to come up with creative ways to try and keep ahead. And while that situation could be bad for a lot of people, it could end up being really, really, good for foreign researchers graduating in the UK.

But that isn’t all that they laid out in their road map. Here’s a full list of talking point in the document:

  • Increasing investment in research and applying that research to solving the UK’s most pressing issues in government, industry, and society.
  • Becoming world-class at securing the economic and social benefits from research.
  • Supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups to increase the flow of money into R&D firms.
  • Attracting, developing, and retaining talented people and teams that “are essential to our visions.”
  • Taking greater account of place-based outcomes and ensuring that R&D make their fullest contributions to the UK’s “levelling up agenda.”
  • Providing long-term investment into infrastructure and institutions.
  • Becoming the partner-of-choice for other R&D superpowers and strengthening partnerships with developing countries.
  • Ensuring that the R&D sector is responsive to the needs of society at large.

We still don’t know all the details, as the rules still need to be changed. But until we do, happy job hunting to our graduating PhD students worldwide from!