Boris Johnson has announced plans to allow international students to remain in the UK for two years after graduating.
Previously, students from abroad had just four months to find employment after completing their studies - a decision made by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary in 2012.
The new plans are set to come into effect for those starting courses in the academic year of 2020/21.
They will apply to students at undergraduate level or above at any institution that has a record of holding immigration checks.
Politicians and education officials have welcomed the change.
Chief executive of Universities UK Alistair Jarvis said the announcement was “very positive news”, while Home Secretary Priti Patel said it demonstrated Britain’s “global outlook”.
And Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom told talkRADIO she was “delighted” by the proposal.
Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer she said: “Giving [students] a period of grace in which to find that job that suits their degree is essential.
“For me as Business Secretary, we have so many new skilled jobs going forward in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, automated vehicles, space technology, life sciences technology, so many opportunities so we definitely want to be attracting the brightest and the best from right around the world.”
However the chairman of Migration Watch UK, said it was an "unwise" and "retrograde" step.
Alp Mehmet added that the move would "likely lead to foreign graduates staying on to stack shelves, as happened before".