British universities are not perturbed with the drop in Indian students opting for higher education in the UK and feel quality students will always favour them irrespective of the changing visa rules and work norms.
In fact, the footfall at the ‘Education UK’ Exhibition held at the Taj Krishna hotel was an indicator of the confidence of the varsities. A large number of students thronged the one-day exhibition where about 60 institutions, including some top varsities, gave first hand information on courses, admission procedures and visa norms.
New visa norms and changes in post-study work permits, that allow international students to search for work from the registered companies within three months of the course completion, have hit the interests of Indian students. Earlier, students were allowed to stay in UK for two years after the course for employment.
“The point-based visa system is more structured and genuine students will not have any problem,” said Arvind Vepa, International Liaison and Recruitment Officer, University College London. He says there is lot of misinformation about the changes, but serious students need not worry about them.
Sonu Hemanil, Senior Project Manager, British Council said the response has been tremendous and reflected the keenness of Indian students opting for UK education. “International acceptability and quality are the prime reasons,” she said.
An interesting development noticed at the exhibition was the increased interest in under-graduate programmes.
“Parents are willing to invest on their wards’ education early and this shows in increased interest for UG courses,” Mr. Vepa said. Rise in International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes in Indian schools could also be a reason.
Though IT continues to be a favourite subject, increased enquiries for courses like media and architecture also surprised the participating varsities. Enquiries for research programmes were also seen and students were asked to come up with research proposals in the areas of their interest. Seminars on visas, IELTS and different courses saw large participation from students and parents.