Foreign students will have to provide a bond of up to £2,000 a year to study at British colleges under a Tory government.
A new system of student visas will include a clampdown on bogus colleges; allow only colleges registered at Companies House to sponsor foreign students and force them to return to their home country before applying to switch to a work visa. The bonds would be repaid after the student leaves the country at the end of their studies. They would initially apply to college but not university students.
There would be greater scrutiny of applications from "particularly sensitive countries" such as Pakistan and Yemen. Chris Grayling, the shadow Home Secretary, said: "The student visa system is a huge loophole in our border controls, and despite years of promises the Government has completely failed to deal with the problem. This loophole has not only allowed large numbers of people to enter the country who would not have been able to do so otherwise, but is now a genuine security risk for us." He added: "Our proposals will transform the system, making it much more difficult for those who want to abuse it, whilst encouraging genuine students to come to our colleges and universities."