Kenyan Graduates Locked Out of UK Jobs in Directive Blacklisting All Local Universities

  • JKUAT graduates seated at the graduation square in the Institution.
    JKUAT graduates seated at the graduation square in the Institution.
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    JKUAT
  • Kenyan graduates are set to miss out on opportunities to work in the United Kingdom (UK) following conditions set for the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa.

    According to the new directives, applicants for the HPI visa are required to have graduated from the top 50 ranked universities globally, a list in which no African university made the cut.

    Among the universities listed include Harvard University (US), University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), and University of Munich (Germany) among others.

    Left to right: Kenyatta University entrance, Moi University building and Nairobi University towers
    Left to right: Kenyatta University entrance, Moi University building and Nairobi University towers.
    File

    The HPI visa is considered a lucrative visa as the applicants are allowed to work and live in the UK for two years. One of the benefits of the visa is that applicants are allowed to be accompanied by their spouses.

    "A High Potential Individual (HPI) visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years. To apply, you must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last 5 years.

    "You cannot extend your HPI visa. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa," read a statement by the UK government.

    The directive has seen some African countries protest the changes even as scholars stated that many Africans will miss out on life-changing opportunities.

    In the 2022 World University Ranking, the University of Nairobi was the top Kenyan university ranked at 501 globally, with other institutions of higher learning in the country missing out on the list made of 600 universities.

    The poor performance of Kenyan institutions in the ranking in previous years has been blamed on poor governance and types of courses among other factors.

    The UK has been a hub of employment for many Kenyans in recent years following bilateral talks between Nairobi and London.

    In 2021, the Ministry of Labour announced that it had brokered a deal with UK that would see the country send 20,000 nurses to the UK.

    "We are exporting Kenyan nurses. Last month we were in London with President Uhuru Kenyatta and had discussions with the UK government, which agreed to take 20,000 of their 62,000 shortage of nurses trained in Kenya," Labour CS, Simon Chelugui, stated then.

    Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
    Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
    File