London [UK], October 02 (ANI): Amid rising concerns over the threat posed by China, the UK government is expected to bar a large number of Chinese students from studying certain subjects at British universities.
According to a report in The Times, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will expand the remit of its security vetting for overseas applicants wanting to study subjects relating to national security, amid concerns about the theft of intellectual property.
Journalist Lucy Fisher reported that ministers at the national security committee signed off plans for stricter rules earlier this year.
"The measures are expected to block hundreds of Chinese students from entering Britain. Visas for those already enrolled will be revoked if they are deemed to pose a risk," Fisher reported.
According to The Times, the moves comes after widespread concerns around intellectual property (IP) theft by students at the UK's top research labs.
Chinese students have been accused of IP theft in both the UK and the US.
A Whitehall source said: "The ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) system is being expanded as we know that security threats are constantly evolving... We know that there are those who would seek to exploit our position as leaders in science & innovation. Ministers decided to take action earlier this year."
A recent report from a think tank, the Henry Jackson Society, found that 900 graduates of Chinese universities allegedly linked to the People's Liberation Army are enrolled in postgraduate studies at 33 British universities with serious research arms.
In 2018-19 Chinese students accounted for 12 per cent of all postgraduates studying at UK universities. Hundreds could face being blocked from taking up places going forward.
In May, a similar move was taken by the United States. The Trump administration had announced that it has banned some Chinese students and researchers from entering the United States after accusing them of stealing intellectual property.(ANI)