The UK was on top of the list for Indian students willing to study abroad, followed by US, Australia and other countries. However, the numbers now tell a different story. UK’s Higher Education Standards Authority (HESA) has recorded a 24% fall in Indian students in the last academic year. And the numbers are not too impressive as yet.
In the mean while, the United States has become ‘top preferred destination‘ for international students. It has witnessed a rise of 6% when compared to the drop it witnessed for the past 3 consecutive years.
Decline in Indian Students Heading to UK
The frequent changes in UK student visa policies and depriving the international students of right to stay and work after education is considered to be the reason for the drop in number. The attempts by UK to persuade Indian students have failed time and again.
Vince Cable, Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, India visit did not do much to improve the situation. And Theresa May saying, “Making sure immigrants leave Britain at the end of their visa is as important a part of running a fair and efficient immigration system as controlling who comes here in the first place,” worsen the situation.
After 2010-11, the number has only gone down year after year. That year recorded enrollment of 39,090 Indian students, and 2014 recorded only 19,750 enrollments, which is a sharp fall of 49%.
The students from China to UK however increased by 1/5th during the same period.
Increase in Indian Students Heading to the US
On the other hand, the US student visa process remains constant. No major changes noted in the past years. The growing relationship between India and US also added to the increase of Indian students to the US.
The Times of India reported Evan Ryan, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, saying, “International education is crucial to building relationships between people and communities in the United States and around the world. It is through these relationships that together we can solve global challenges like climate change, the spread of pandemic disease, and combating violent extremism.”
Students from India alone were 102,673 for 2013-2014, which is 6% increase in Indian students. The overall enrollment of international students increased by 8% in 2013-2014.
The US is also trying to simplify post study visa options for international students: from F1 to H-1B. The immigration reforms suggesting the move are currently blocked by Federal District Judge.
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