International Student Secures Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

Friday 14 June 2013


Amir Riahi, from Iran became the first International Student from Coventry University London Campus to secure a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.  This visa route is designed for non-EU graduates who have an outstanding business idea that they wish to put into practice in the UK.

The number of Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas available each year is limited, and graduates who wish to remain in the UK to launch their business have a number of criteria to fulfil in order to qualify. One of the set criteria is that they need to be endorsed by their University and as an authorised endorsing body Coventry University can endorse students once they have established that the candidate has a genuine, credible and innovative business idea.

Amir has over six years experience in the engineering sector and has worked for various international organisations both in Iran and abroad. However, Amir wanted to push the boundaries to explore the possibilities of setting up an innovative engineering business. Although he is a mechanical engineering graduate and an experienced professional, Amir felt that there were some essential skills he needed to make his new venture successful. 

The right institution in an inspiring city

Amir researched various programmes which could help him develop strong skills in business, management and leadership and he opted for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) Engineering at Coventry University London Campus. Located in the heart of the City of London, Amir found that being surrounded by the Bank of England, the famous Gherkin Building and a number of world renowned organisations, Coventry University London Campus, would offer him the best opportunities to network with industry professionals.

“London is one of the world’s largest financial and business centres. It is full of opportunities for business to flourish and gives you a platform to network with successful professionals” says Amir. 

The Campus has an ethos centred on delivering a real business experience. Through high profile guest speakers, internships opportunities and an Employability team always available to offer valuable advice, Coventry University London Campus students leave their studies ready to integrate the work place at senior positions or to run their own business.

Amir explains:  “I did a lot of research about the various universities and their programmes. Coventry University London Campus has a broad range of MBAs available and in my view they are the institution with the best focus on student employability…the environment on campus is extremely professional and the tutors are supportive and have a lot of industry experience to share”

Amir’s institution choice was also influenced by the fact that Coventry University, through its Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship (IAE), offer students and graduates the support they need to develop their business start-ups. The IAE assistance includes a range of services such as full business support, mentoring and a shared office environment to collaborate and network with like-minded entrepreneurs.

The IAE were very helpful and gave me a lot of help and assistance. They were always available and their input has been extremely valuable”

Support throughout

While the process of being endorsed by the University for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is well laid out, the selection was challenging.  Amir worked very hard on his business proposal and was called in for an interview to discuss his project, its uniqueness and feasibility.  The interview was only part of the process and after having satisfied all of the selection requirements, Amir’s project was approved for University endorsement. 

“The team was very attentive. They took my project and ideas seriously and after a selection process, including an interview, they made the decision to endorse my Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur application”

Amir’s new venture, USBC UK, introduces a new generation of industrial plants known as USBC-Generation.  It also offers a number of services in downstream oil and gas, steel, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Amir’s final words about Coventry University London Campus were:

“If a person is looking for opportunities, challenges, self-development together with outstanding support to succeed, then Coventry University London Campus is the right place”

The institution

Coventry University is ranked 33rd in the 2014 Guardian University Guide making it the number one modern University in the UK. What’s more, its Business and Management subject area is ranked 12th in the UK, making it one for the top institutions in the country.

It was crowned the ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the 2011 Times Higher Education Awards, and has also won the ‘Outstanding Support for Students’ award for a joint submission. The University welcomes students from all over the world and is dedicated to nurturing talent.