Boris Johnson battles sharp decline in Indian students at UK universities

September 12, 2015

In an attempt of reversing the drop rate of Indian students who enrolls at UK universities, Boris Johnson is seeking to influence his brother, who is also the higher education minister on this issue for new visa support which will enable the Commonwealth students to settle down and work in the UK after their degrees ends.

Boris Johnson battles sharp fall in Indian students at UK universities

The London mayor who has earlier criticized colleagues of his own Conservative party for applying the student immigration policies which he termed as crazy, is more concerned about the universities of the UK losing to competitors in Australia, Canada and the US as the government seeks to tighten the visa rules for foreign nationals who comes to pursue education in Britain.

There has been 50 percent decline in the number of Indian students coming to study in the UK universities. Only 19,750 students were recorded in the year 2013-14, when compared to 39,090 students in the year 2010 -11.

The London Mayor who previously spoke about this issues during his previous visits to India, has now written to the universities minister Mr. Jo Johnson, for suggesting a committed “post-study work visa” targeting the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Such moves will partly reverse the three-year-old Home Office’s abolition of visa that allowed all students from outside EU to hunt for jobs in the UK for two-year period after their studies ends. As per the current rules students are given a time of four months to find the work and a salary of 20,800 pounds at least should be paid, which the critics says it will be a disadvantage for those who are outside London and south-east.

During the earlier diplomatic visits to New Delhi, the prime minister has frequently tried to address concerns of the Indian students about not being welcome in the UK.

Meanwhile, the government is insisting that there is limit on the number of overseas students allowed in the UK, competitors from the UK’s higher education are mainly focused on the increase in difficulty of visa access to study in the UK. In the previous month, eight leading universities of Australia signs a deal with some of the elite schools in Delhi for promoting their degrees to Indian students who might have previously applied to Oxbridge.

Sheffield University‘s vice-chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett has seen a drop in Indian students enroll which stood at 234 in 2014 when compared to 455 in the year 2010.

“India is a rapidly growing country where there’s enormous focus on information technology, computing, engineering, and these are sectors which correspond to huge growth areas in the British economy,” he said. “The links and connections [between the UK and India] are very strong, and we haven’t quite destroyed them, but we’ve really ripped into a lot of good relationships.”

Ministers have recognized the contribution in the economy of the UK given by the international students and making the UK’s education system one of the best education systems in the world. Said The Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills.

There is no limit on the number of foreign students who can study in the UK, and that the UK welcomes genuine foreign students. It said.

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