EDUCATION PLUS

More students going to U.K.



The number increased from 9,000 to 26,000 in a year

The number of Indian students who apply to colleges in the U.K. has increased from 9,000 last year to 26,000 this year, primarily because of the exchange rate, Richard Hyde, British Deputy High Commissioner in India, has said.

Speaking at the concluding celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Bangalore, Mr. Hyde said the number had gone up as the Indian rupee was “looking up” in comparison to the British Pound.

Responding to a question, he said students preferred U.K. for higher education despite its high costs in view of the assured “quality education.”

He spoke about various topics concerning India and the U.K., and focusing on the area of education, he said that the U.K. had the largest population of people of Indian origin, many of whom were students.

“The environment is welcoming for the Indian student. There is no discrimination either.”

“Even the business community’s presence is increasing greatly,” he said. With companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys setting up shop in the U.K., Mr. Hyde said that Bangalore was of particular interest to the U.K. in the areas of life sciences, aerospace technology and Information Technology.

According to Mr. Hyde there was a misconception amongst people about the U.K.’s policies on granting visas. “The U.K. is very welcoming to immigrants,” he said.

Mr. Hyde’s address to the gathering mapped the course of Indo-British relations, from colonial times to the present. “One of greatest contributions of India to Britain has been its people,” he said. Citing the U.K. as a prime centre for multiculturalism, he said that close to two per cent of Britain’s population was Indian, and it contributed to five per cent of its Gross Domestic Product. “Amongst the four Deputy High Commissioners from Britain, two are of Indian origin, including me,” said Mr. Hyde.

Referring to India’s and Britain’s long and complicated history, he said the “arrogant superpower” Britain had expanded its empire to India to “plunder its vast resources.” “In my experience, Indians have been very forgiving,” he said.

Now, both India and Britain had a global vision sustained by democratic values and played an important role in the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the Commonwealth, and G-20.

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