Published On: Tue, Jun 28th, 2022

More Indian students choose UK with post-study work visa | India News – Net4News


It’s the season when thousands of Indian students are preparing to join universities overseas for their higher education. This year, the United Kingdom has emerged as a top destination of choice with a significant rise in the number of Indian students travelling there for pursuing higher educational opportunities. Nearly 108,000 student visas for Indian nationals were issued in the year ending March 2022 which was almost double (+93%) the number compared to the previous year, according to official figures from the British High Commission in India.
While the pandemic and travel restrictions had hit thousands of Indian students planning to study in the UK and other countries since the summer of 2020; the situation is gradually moving back to normal this year. “Students and education systems across the world faced a number of pandemic-led challenges during the initial months; and while travel restrictions did deter students from travelling abroad, it was really encouraging that students did not hold off their study plans to join their dream institutions. There was a fair amount of uncertainty at least until the vaccination drives began, however, the number of Indian students enrolling in the UK institutions to continue their study plans remained unaffected,” Vivienne Stern, director, Universities UK International (UUKi), a platform for UK universities on the international stage, told Times of India. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) of the UK, during 2020-21, over 82,000 Indians studied in UK institutions.

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“Health and travel restrictions have now been lifted in the UK, and campuses are largely back to normal, with face to face teaching and social activities. However, universities learned a lot from the different way they had to teach during the pandemic, and are trying to keep some of the beneficial aspects of online provision where students find them helpful. Students have also been able to complete work placements, and travel abroad as part of their studies,” Rowan Kennedy, deputy director, India, British Council, said.
Among other benefits, international students get access to UK’s National Health Service (NHS) as part of the student visa application through which they can access necessary or urgent treatment at no upfront cost.
“We are excited to see the response and phenomenal rise in applications from Indian students over the last few years. While the UK has always been a popular foreign study destination for Indian students and has seen a healthy number of students make their way over to the country, the current rise in popularity can be attributed to renewed efforts from both nations in enabling each other to become stronger hubs of higher education,” said Stern.
The introduction in July 2021 of the graduate route, which allows a two-year post-study work visa to international graduates at the UK universities, has expanded opportunities for talented Indian students to build successful careers in the UK. To apply for the graduate route, Indian students do not need a job offer and there are no salary requirements or caps on numbers. This enables international graduates in the UK to work flexibly, move between job opportunities, and develop their career.
Since the introduction of the graduate route in July 2021, over 12,000 Indian students have been able to gain further skills and experience in the UK after completing their degrees, according to official figures. “Indian, Nigerian and Chinese nationals accounted for over a half (58%) of visa grants in this route. Overseas graduates in the UK also continue onto highly successful careers, with graduate outcomes data showing that non-EU graduates employed in the UK five years after graduation have median earnings higher (19.7%) than UK domiciled graduates,” said Stern.
“The UK is committed to supporting thousands of Indian students in their dreams to pursue world class UK education and post study employment opportunities with the graduate route benefits enabling students to gain coveted international work experience,” she added. Indian nationals remain the second largest international student community in the UK, according to official figures.
A recent higher education delegation to India from the UK earlier this month, led by the British Council, UUKi, department for international trade (DIT UK) and department for education (DfE UK), comprised of representatives of 22 UK higher education institutions and focussed on mutual identification of transnational opportunities between the two countries. “Both our countries are aligned to realise the mutual vision agreed between our prime ministers through the India-UK Roadmap 2030. The education departments in both countries are working together to achieve a framework for mutual recognition of academic qualifications (MRQs). The MRQs will pave the way for deeper collaboration between India and the UK allowing for more exchange of knowledge and ideas between institutions and mobility of students between the two countries,” said Kennedy.
He added that during British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to India in April, both the prime ministers appreciated progress on the agreement for MRQs, which would encourage mobility of students from both countries by facilitating continuation of academic study and partnerships between higher education institutions of India and the UK.





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