New Delhi, June 29: The government has informed the Rajya Sabha that owing to the withdrawal of post-study work visa, tightening of English proficiency requirements, and comparatively costlier higher education in the United Kingdom, a sharp decline has been witnessed in the number of Indian students seeking admission in UK universities.
On the basis of the UK official source, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that the number of Indian students dipped down from 40,470 in 2009-10 to 16,559 in 2016-17. He shared this information via a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha regarding a drop in the total number of Indian students, who are seeking admission in the UK universities.
He said that the number of Indian students increased to 19,750 in 2017-18. The minister said that there was an earlier decrease in number due to various reasons such as of post-study work visa, tightening of English proficiency requirements, and comparatively costlier higher education in the UK. He added that opening up of new opportunities in countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the opening of new global universities in India have also started to attract the Indian students, who used to go abroad for studies.
Issue taken up by MEA with UK Home Office
Muraleedharan said that India constantly raises the issues concerning its students in all bilateral discussions with the UK at different levels. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has taken the issue with the UK Home Office in a meeting held on January 16, 2019.
The foreign secretary raised it with his British counterpart during India-UK Foreign Office Consultations on May 10 this year. The minister said that on May 14, 2019, the issue was raised again at the meeting between secretary (CPV & OIA), MEA and the second permanent secretary in the UK Home Office.
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