Visas would be given to genuine students from genuine universities here, to study in the United Kingdom, said Andrew Soper, economic counsellor, British High Commission, New Delhi.

Addressing presspersons at the British Council here, he said, about 30,000 students were granted visas to study in the UK in 2012. There was a slight decline as it had gone up to 39,000 in previous years. After finding out that many overseas students working in the UK had applied for student visas, the process was tightened up, he said.

Reacting to reports of ‘visa bonds’, he said it was another myth. It was never more than a proposal, Mr. Soper said, adding the UK would never seek visa bonds.

Paul Sellers, director, south India, British Council, announced the largest ever scholarship programme, worth almost 1 million pounds, with around 370 scholarships for Indian students.

“Students will have to apply in universities first. Once their application is approved, then they can apply for the scholarships,” he said, launching the GREAT careers guide aimed at helping Indian students with employability.

An exhibition will be held in the city on February 3, with a large number of UK institutions participating, at Taj Coromandel between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., along with seminars.

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