Home Secretary Theresa May announced the measures Friday in her first major speech to the House of Commons on migration, The Guardian reported.
May plans to limit severely the flow of foreigners studying in lower-level courses while letting elite universities keep their overseas students. That move would halve the 320,000 students who come to study in Britain each year.
"I want a system where we continue to attract the top students coming to our top universities," she said.
May also modified Prime Minister David Cameron's statement Wednesday that 30,000 skilled migrants employed by multinational corporations would be exempt from the proposed immigration cap next year.
She indicated that while they would not fall under the annual cap, their numbers would be limited by a minimum salary level or other criteria to make sure they were coming for managerial or specialist jobs.
A Commons committee warned this week that the cap would only cover 20 percent of migrants and would not effectively cut non-European immigration.