It is understood that May’s plans would have seen foreign graduates return to their home countries. They would then have had to apply for a work visa while abroad, instead of being able to do so while on British soil.
The plans had been opposed by a number of senior figures in the design world, including Sir James Dyson, Royal College of Art rector Dr Paul Thompson and University of the Arts London vice-chancellor Nigel Carrington.
A letter from Thompson and Carrington that was co-signed by Patrick Loughrey, warden at Goldsmiths, and Professor John Last, vice-chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts, was published in the Guardian last week.
In the letter, the describe May’s plans as “the first deliberate attempt by a mainstream UK politician to stop the brain-drain operating in our favour”.
According to the Financial Times, May has now abandoned the plans, which were also reportedly opposed by Chancellor George Osborne.
The FT says that the plans will now not feature in the Conservatives’ manifesto for the next General Election.