Both undergraduate and postgraduate international students will be reimbursed the cost of their study visas when they start their course at Imperial. Non-EU students must obtain the visa before leaving their home country, at a cost of ?85 - up from ?36 before 2005.
College Rector, Sir Richard Sykes, explained the reason for this move:
"There are no borders when it comes to scientific research and we are keen to make sure Imperial continues to attract the best students from around the world regardless of nationality. Leaving your home country to study abroad can be a daunting prospect so it's important that we make it as easy as possible by removing any unnecessary difficulties."
Undergraduate tuition fees for international students have risen from around ?16,500 to ?17,500 this year, a rise of about 6%. Inflation is in the region of 2.4%, leading to an impression of College giving with one hand and taking away with the other.
Higher education institutions in the UK are increasingly reliant on fees from international students to balance government underfunding of home students.