UK ever more popular with Indian students

18 February 2021
Posted by Katie Meehan

Increase in applications from Indian students

  • Indian student applications to UK universities up 25%.
  • Move reflects more welcoming policies such as post-study work visas and free access to vaccines for Indian students on the NHS.

Figures from the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Services show the UK remains a popular choice for Indian students, with applications for leading British universities up by a quarter. Applications from India to UK universities grew by 25 per cent.

The news will be warmly welcomed by the UK government, which recently named India as one of its priority countries in the newly refreshed UK International Education Strategy, launched by Universities Minister Michelle Donelan and Minister for Exports Graham Stuart. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India later this year with education partnerships and international students expected to form a key strand of discussions.

Responding to the news, Chief Executive of leading international education provider Study Group Emma Lancaster said:

“We are delighted to see this increase in applicants to UK universities from Indian students, who have long been drawn to this country by its broad range of globally respected universities and the high quality education they provide. Indian students who study pathway programmes to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at British universities go on to success in such challenging subjects as Law, Engineering and Business, as well as courses that lead to degrees in Medicine.

“Key to this success is a focus on excellent teaching and an understanding of the needs of Indian students specifically. We are particularly delighted that the UK government has listened to the needs of Indian students in ensuring visas for post-study work and that the government has committed to reviewing policies to make an even more supportive environment for students and graduates from around the world.”

This commitment to welcome Indian students has been echoed by Sanam Arora, Chair of the National Indian Students Association, who believes Indian students and graduates have a powerful contribution to make.

“The UK’s economic future lies in high-value, knowledge-intensive activities. Severe skill shortages, however, are a limiting factor – half of the British vacancies in STEM areas are hard to fill. Indians could have a similar impact on the UK as they have had on the US, where their contribution has been integral to making Silicon Valley the technological hub of the world. At the same time, the bilateral relationship will flourish as people-to-people ties are enhanced and money flows to India via remittances to families back home.”

Indian students are attracted to the UK for its reputation for global academic excellence in higher education and excellent overall student experience, as Study Group student Kanishka Bhatia explains:

When I arrived in the UK, my aim was just to pass my course. The whole transition was really smooth and not only did I pass, but I got a first class degree, so I’m really happy – the choice was right. The Head of Centre was a tremendous support for me. Even my tutors after classes helped. It was more like a family and I could speak to them about anything.”

Study Group is the leading provider in international pathway programmes.

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