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'UK will not lose its sheen as most popular study destination': British Council India

British Council (South India) Director Mei-kwei Barker said they do not expect the UK to lose its sheen as the most popular study destination for international students after Brexit, amid fears of tighter immigration laws.

"We don't really expect Brexit to affect UK. It is not slipping as a preferred higher education destination for international students, including Indians, amid fears of tighter immigration laws and Brexit impact," she told reporters here.

Barker said that contrary to reports in the global media, there are presently five lakh international students studying in the United Kingdom.

She also said that last year over 6,000 graduates had switched from Tier 4 to Tier 2 work visa after their studies, which is an increase from 2014 onwards. "It has turned a corner now," she added.

Many Indian students are concerned over lack of a post study visa that would allow them gain valuable work experience in the UK after studies and thus give them a competitive edge in the job market both back in India as well as globally.

Brexit & Higher Education in UK

"There are whole range of ways that the students can stay on. There is a scheme wherein if a student has a good business idea, he or she can set up a startup. This is one way to do it. There are 12 months internships and doctorate extensions, among other things," she said.

Earlier the British Council announced its GREAT Britain Scholarships India 2017 worth £1 million as part of the 'GREAT BRITAIN' campaign along with a new proposition ‘Study UK: Discover You’. As many as 198 GREAT scholarships in subject areas ranging from art and design to engineering, law and management are on offer for students aspiring to study in UK, Barker said.

The Council would launch a mobile app (Study UK Discover You Exhibition 2017) for the first time in India which will help students and parents plan their visit to the education exhibitions effectively, Barker said. "The App contains all the necessary information about UK educational institutions," she said.

In addition, Chevening is the British Government's flagship global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organisations. "The India programme is now the world's largest with a budget of £2.6 million budget for 2016-17 with 130 scholarships being offered," she said.

PTI

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