Graduates from the world's top tertiary institutions will be allowed to apply for a UK visa, however, their African counterparts won't be so fortunate.
According to the UK government, alumni who have graduated from top non-UK universities in the past five years will be able to apply - and they are not required to have a job offer.
The universities include the California Institute of Technology, Harvard, John Hopkins University, University of British Columbia, Peking University, Karolinska Institute and the Kyoto University.
The BBC reports that successful applicants will be given a working visa that will last for two years if they hold a bachelor's or master's degree, and three years if they have a PhD. They will also be able to switch to other long-term employment visas if they meet stipulated requirements.
However, academics have sounded the alarm as students who have graduated from South Asian, Latin or African universities are excluded.
Director and senior researcher at the University of Cape Town, Christopher Trisos, told the BBC that the approach is deeply inequitable.
Trisos said the UK needed to recognise and include diverse skills and in-depth knowledge held by graduates from universities in developing countries if it wanted to play a role in addressing major challenges of this century.
A UK visa will cost £715 plus the immigration health surcharge, a fee which allows migrants to the UK to use the NHS.
As per the new upgrades, graduates will be able to bring their families, although they must have maintenance funds of at least £1 270.
Graduates will also have to pass both a security and criminality check and be proficient in English.