Indian students worry over UK changes to post-study work visas

Published On: 10 Jan 2014

 | Last Updated On: 10 Jan 2014

While UK is actively trying to court Indian students to pursue higher education across their universities, the move of scrapping post-study work visa last year seems to be a big deterrent. It has been reported that in a survey among students who were wishing to study abroad, 9 out of 10 Indian students stated that their peers would be discouraged from studying in the UK after it scrapped the post-study work visa last year.

It was reported that think tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), in a survey of 500 young Indians who planned to study abroad, revealed that new restrictions to international students has led to a large proportion being put off from studying in the UK. The reports quoted Alice Sachrajda, Research Fellow at IPPR as saying "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”.

It can be recalled that after China, India sends the second highest number of students abroad and UK universities are the second most popular destination. The UK held a 13 per cent share of this market in 2011. Over half of the students surveyed said that the ability to work in their country of study was “extremely important” to them and played a big part in their decision making.

But last year’s visa changes mean that non-EU students who want to work in the UK after their studies now have to apply for a separate visa. This would force them to go through the UK’s strict points-based employment visa system. Overall, 80 per cent of the survey participants saw the UK as a favorable destination for study and work, and 70 per cent of those questioned wanted to study in the UK.

However, 1 in 3 prospective students said they had difficulties with the application process. This contrasts with just 1 in 8 prospective Indian students reporting difficulties with Australia’s equivalent application process. New IPPR analysis shows that the number of Indian students at UK universities fell by almost a quarter last year. This equated to only 30,000 Indian students last year, compared to 40,000 the year before. 

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