Britain Beckons Indian Students

Britain’s new minister for Universities and Science used his maiden speech on higher education to highlight his commitment to attract more Indian students to come to the UK to study…reports Asian Lite, Best Newspaper for British Asians

Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities & Science
Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities & Science

The new Conservative government under Prime Minister David Cameron renews its pledge to attract more Asian students, especially from India, to British universities.

““We are currently the second most popular destination for international study, after the USA,”said Jo Johnson, the new Minister for Universities and Science in the Cameron government. “But I am concerned that some feel the UK does not welcome students as warmly as we once did and that there has been a decline of student numbers from some of our key partners, most notably India.”

Mr Johnson was addressing Going Global 2015 Conference on International Higher Education in London.

“It is a personal aim of mine to overcome misconceptions about the UK in such important countries. Data tells a good tale. Once here, Indian students’ satisfaction rate is 90%. And most of those say they would recommend their universities to others,” he added.

“We will engage and explain. We will make clear that there is no cap on the number of students who can come to study in the UK and no intention to introduce one. Nor is there any cap on the number of former students who can stay on to work – as long as they have a graduate job.”

The minister, the former Financial Times correspondent in Asia, has a personal interest in India and Asia. He was based in New Delhi between 2005 and 2008, where he led the team of FT journalists that covered India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

A recent study, conducted by the British Council shows that that more Indians are opting to study at Universities in the US because of strict visa rules on post-study employment. The official report issued by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of overseas students coming to study in Britain from Commonwealth countries like India and Pakistan has dwindled from one lakh to 35,000 since 2012.

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