BfS CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp has criticised the decision, and said the minister’s anti-entrepreneurial stance had blatantly disregarded the views of the majority of Scottish businesses and universities.
The PSWV, which allows talented students to remain and work in the country for a limited period of time after their studies are complete, was shelved three years ago. But it was agreed, as part of the Smith Commission, that there would be consultation on the possibility of reintroducing it in Scotland. However, Mr Mundell has now blocked the proposals without consultation and before the Scottish Affairs Committee looking into it has had the chance to report on their findings.
Mr MacIntyre-Kemp said: “The student visa overhaul has harmed Scotland’s universities and the economy.
“We attract over 40,000 students from across the world. These students are net contributors to the economy during their studies (£779 million annually), but these students are sent home after completing their studies with no opportunity to continue their contribution to the Scottish economy.
“Scotland’s businesses, and her economy, need young talented individuals to remain and work here, paying taxes and contributing to developing the country’s economy.
“To encourage students to come and study here, then send them home again immediately after they complete their studies, is both short-sighted and anti-entrepreneurial.
“As Mundell hails Holyrood 2.0 powers in public it seems he and his party are doing their best to undermine the new powers behind the scenes. The truth is that what is actually being offered is a constitutional fudge and the worst of both worlds.”
Property developer Dan MacDonald took to Twitter to voice his criticism of Mr Mundell’s decision. He said it dismisses the urgent need of open doors to global entrepreneurship development and our trade base.
According to Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, who held a debate on this in Westminster last year, the Scottish Parliament, Third Sector organisations, all educational institutions and 85% of Scottish businesses want to see the Post Study Work Visa brought back.