How can we make the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa work? Opportunities and challenges

10:00 am - 4:00 pm 21/03/2018

High School Yards, Edinburgh, EH1 1LZ

Delegates had the opportunity to:

  • Hear from several universities who have experience of endorsing Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visas
  • Learn about creative strategies being employed by colleagues to overcome some of the challenges inherent with the Tier 1 visa.
  • Understand how the guidelines are interpreted in a range of institutions.
  • Learn about the Home Office perspective and discuss with Home Office representatives
  • Build new networks with like-minded educators and practitioners.


The vast majority of UK HEI’s are authorised, endorsing bodies for the Tier 1 GE scheme101/130 institutions. However in 2016 only 169 of 2000 available endorsements were used. This Enterprise Exchange event will focus on discussing some of the challenges of the Tier 1 Scheme to try to understand why more endorsements are not made. It will be an opportunity to exchange good practice and resources and will aim to enable more universities to endorse more graduate entrepreneurs.

As practitioners on the ground we need to help the Home Office make this scheme work but also share good practice as to how best to harness the entrepreneurial skills and passions of our international student bodies.

The day will include core components suitable for all with an interest in this subject as well as break out session to focus on and discuss more specific issues, barriers and insights:

  • For those institutions that have not taken the plunge and endorsed anyone – opportunities to analyse the barriers and obtain insights into practices and procedures.
  • For those that are currently endorsing students but may be encountering problems or not endorsing as many as they would like – opportunities to exchange experiences and learn from others.
  • For those institutions whose main issue is the transition from the GE scheme to full Tier 1 – opportunities to discuss this with others who have already made the transition.

Speakers and facilitators included:

  • Alison Gee, University of Edinburgh
  • Bonnie Hacking, University of St Andrews
  • Marion Anderson, University of Glasgow
  • Jon Powell, Lancaster University
  • Sara Hoey and Erika Sella, University of Edinburgh
  • Richard Jackson and Roger Peachey, Home Office
  • Jo Bennett and Ben Sinkie, University of Glasgow.

Presentations from the day can be downloaded below:-

Sarah Hoey Edinburgh

Marion Anderson Glasgow

Jo Bennett Glasgow Erika Sella Edinburgh

Home Office

Ben Sinkie Glasgow


10am – 10.20 Tea/Coffee/Registration and Networking
10.20 – 10.35 Welcome and Introduction
Alison Gee, University of Edinburgh
Bonnie Hacking, Enterprise Educators UK and University of St. Andrews
10.35 – 10.55 Overview of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
Home Office perspective – Richard Jackson and Roger Peachey, Home Office
University Perspective – Marion Anderson, Enterprise Manager, University of Glasgow
10.55 – 11.10 Promoting Graduate Entrepreneurship
Jon Powell, Lancaster University
11.10 – 11.30 Group discussion – sharing experience of the application process, reviewing applications and making decisions
11.30 –11:45 Applying to the UKVI
Jo Bennett, International Student Adviser, University of Glasgow and
Erika Sella, International Student Adviser, University of Edinburgh
11:45 –12.15 Panel Q&A
12.15 – 13.00  Lunch and networking 
13.00 – 13.45 Break out groups with feedback
13.45 – 14.05 Compliance Responsibilities
Ben Sinkie, Immigration Compliance Manager, University of Glasgow
14.05 – 14.20 Transitioning to the full Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
Sarah Hoey, International Staff Adviser, University of Edinburgh
14.20 – 15.30 Panel Q&A
15.30 – 15.40 Concluding remarks and future insights
Richard Jackson and Roger Peachey, Home Office
15.40 – 15.45 Round up of the day
Alison Gee, University of Edinburgh

Attendee details

See above for how to book onto this event