Hyderabad: The number of Indian students migrating to the United Kingdom (UK) for higher education has seen an increase of 42% in 2019. Over 22,000 students chose the United Kingdom as their destination for higher education, unlike the usual destination — the USA. Significantly, the number this year is double the number of students that moved to the UK for further studies three years ago.
The recent ‘Higher Education Report’ released by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) highlights the trends in student migration from India to Britain. It points out that there is a steady influx of Indian students in the UK, with over 22,000 new students from India moving to England in 2019 alone.
Why there is a boom in migration
Student migration, an ongoing phenomenon, has increased 75% over the decade, according to another study on international migration published in 2013. With factors such as the commercial value of a foreign degree, increased exposure, and lack of options back home. The study by S Irudaya Rajan and Neha Wadhwan also reveals that the United States is the top destination for Indian students, closely followed by the UK. The other countries that students prefer are Australia, New Zealand, and Russia, respectively.
Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UKIBC, said, “There is already a strong India-UK higher education relationship. There were 22,000 new Indian students in the UK this year, up 42% on last year and double the number three years ago. However, the relationship is much broader, and we see from our report that UK institutions have a huge appetite to partner with Indian institutions and employers.”
Britain, which will be going to polls in December, is likely to see an influx of Indian students in the coming years. With British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reinstating the two-year post-study work visa, Indian students will be allowed to work in the UK for two years after completing their degrees. It may attract more students to choose the UK over other foreign countries for higher studies.
For students who want to pursue higher education in the UK, they need to apply for a visa. Visas are issued on a Points Based System (PBS) introduced in 2009. As per this application process, students must obtain a certain level of points in specified attributes to fulfil UK’s immigration criteria, following which they will be issued with a visa. Officials from the UK Home Office have confirmed that 96% of visa applications from Indian students have been accepted and processed within 15 days.