At the UKBAIG meeting referred to here, the UKBA also confirmed that it will not accept time spent in the UK under the student visitor or extended student visitor route as counting towards established presence for Tier 4 purposes. Only time spent under Tier 4 or the previous student category will count. The UKBA reiterated that Entry Clearance Officers should not be refusing extended student or student visitor visas on the basis that English language courses are available to study and are more affordable in the home country. The UKBA also reiterated that students should not intend to remain in the UK for more than six months in a 12 month period as a student visitor.
Please note that the rules concerning whether or not student visitors (or any other visitors) may spend more than six months in total in the UK in a 12 month period remain unclear. There is no definitive bar on individuals spending more than six months in the UK in a year, however, the longer a person spends in the UK, the more difficult it is likely to become for them to convince an immigration officer to regard them as a visitor.