NEW DELHI: The number of Indian students being granted visas for higher studies in the United Kingdom has increased by a staggering 93 per cent after the rule changes, a report released by the UK immigration department revealed.
Last September, the UK had tweaked tier-4 (study visa) rules thereby granting a two-year work period after the completion of the course. Post this change, the number of Indian students applying for higher studies in the UK has risen from 19,497 to 37,540, a rise of 93 per cent.
The other four countries with a significant number of students in the UK are China (1,19,972), the USA (14,883), Saudia Arabia (9,229) and Hong Kong (9,200).
Reacting to the report, Acting British High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson said, “This phenomenal increase in student visa numbers is testament both to the UK’s world-leading education system and to the exceptional talents of Indian students. We couldn’t be prouder that the best and brightest continue to pick the UK, making the living bridge between our countries stronger each day.”
Recently, the UK also tweaked its immigration system making it a point-based one. Following the change, the number of skilled workers has also marginally gone up from 55,479 in 2018 to 57,199 in 2019.
India has the highest number of skilled workers in the UK followed by the USA, China, Philippines, Nigeria and Australia.
“It is exciting to see so many Indian students trusting the UK as the destination for their education and furthering their careers. This bodes very well for both countries’ continued focus on realising their knowledge ambitions in a fast-changing world,” India director of the British Council Barbara Wickham said.
There has also been an eight per cent rise in the number of Indians travelling to the UK on a tourist visa.