Indian students adjourn to study in UK due to post-study visa changes

By Anusha

The new limitations on post-work visas to foreign students has given raise to a big portion of the international students being discouraged to study in the UK, as per the survey conducted by IPPR on 500 Indians who aspired to study abroad.

"The UK's Higher and Further education sectors are one of our leading industries and current policies are causing severe and unnecessary damage to the sector", said Alice Sachrajda, a Research Fellow at IPPR.


India hold the second position when it comes to sending out students to study abroad (after China), and UK holds the second most popular destination for higher education. In 2011, 13% share of this market was held by the UK.

More than half of the surveyed students informed that it is utterly important for them to work in the country where they have graduated, as it had a major role to play in decision making.

However, the amendments made for visa last year have given raise to a situation where non-EU students who wish to work in the UK post studies have to apply for a different visa. This results in making the students undergo UK's unbending points-based employment visa procedure.

On the whole, 80% of the participants of the survey said that UK is a convenient destination to study and then to work . 70% out of the participants who were questioned aspired to study in the UK.

Post-work visa changes discourages students

But, 1 out of 3 aspiring students informed about the difficult application procedure. This diverges from the fact that just 1 out of 8 aspiring Indian students reporting difficulties with similar application process of Australia.

The number of students from India dropped down by almost a quarter in 2012 as per the new analysis by IPPR. There was a drop in Indian students at UK universities by almost a 10,000, resulting in 30,000 students from India as against 40,000 in 2011.

"We cannot continue to rely on the world class reputation of the UK's universities and colleges alone to attract foreign students" Sachrajda added.

"By making it easier for students to work here after they've completed their courses, we are offering an economic incentive to foreign students, who through their skills and hard work will help the UK economy to grow. The UK needs to maintain its vigilance over abuse of the student visa route, shutting down bogus colleges and ensuring that economic migrants can't enter the country posing as students"

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