Dominic McAllister, British Deputy High Commissioner, emphasizing the fact that Brexit had not deterred Indian students from entering their country to pursue higher education, said that student numbers from India till year ending September 2017 increased by 27 percent compared to the same period last year.
He was quoted by Deccan Chronicle as saying that Indian students were granted close to 14,000 Tier 4 student visas in 2017. Saying that their country was looking forward to enrolling more talented students who want to pursue their education in recognized institutions of UK, McAllister said that Britain continues to be viewed as a country for quality education by students from all over the world.
On 5 December, Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, had urged introducing a new post-study work visa for foreign students when he was promoting the #LondonIsOpen campaign in Mumbai.
David Slater, London & Partners, Director of International Trade and Investment, said giving due consideration to such a proposal was crucial for improving bilateral ties between the UK and India. He said that if they make it further easier for all people, students included, to get UK visas, the better it would be for both the countries. Slater said that the post-study work visa was the right example towards initiating such measures.
Data from the HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency), a central data gathering and provision services for higher education in the UK, said a 44 percent drop was seen in the number of students from India enrolling in the UK in 2015-16 when compared to 2011-12, reducing to 16, 475 from 29,000.
When Slater was questioned about the decrease in numbers, despite the claims of a hike and easing the regulations on certain visas, Slater said that Khan’s calls indicate it that was time to give a thought as to what can be done by both the countries.
He said that the London was home to four of the top 50 universities in the world, including Oxford and Cambridge, as the two suburbs attract more students to pursue world-class higher education and stated that they were looking forward to seeing more Indians arrive on their shores.
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