UK to bar foreign students except top university admissions: How will it affect Indian students?
For decades, Indian students have been moving abroad, especially to the UK and the USA for further studies. This is a common Indian aspiration and this leads to large numbers migrating to these two countries. Not all of them secure admission to the top universities.
In fact, a majority take up admission to any college they get because they want a ticket to stay abroad and find their moorings.
In such a situation, if the UK chooses to ban foreign students unless they are studying at top universities, it could upset the plans of thousands of aspiring Indian students.
The Conservative government in the UK had pledged to reduce net migration in its 2019 election manifesto. There was a net migration of 5,04,000 people to the UK during the year up to June. This has pushed the government into action mode and they plan to limit foreign student intake only to top university admissions.
The government is planning to limit the number of family members who can accompany the student into the UK. These new rules will only apply to foreign students who are not already living in the UK.
There has been a 2.15x increase in the number of visas given to Indian students in June 2022 compared to 2019. There was an increase of 71% in the number of overall sponsored study visas granted.
Along with family members, these numbers put great pressure on the system for accommodation, health, education and other infrastructure facilities.
The UK is in a classic Catch-22 situation. On one hand, it needs quality researchers and technicians to reach its science development goals. The universities charge higher fees from foreign nationals to offset what they lose in the form of subsidised education by teaching British nationals.
Moreover, the intake of foreign students keeps UK universities viable and a cut in the migration numbers could see them struggle for survival.
On the other hand, reducing net migration numbers was a promise made in the election manifesto that cannot be ignored outright.
The new government in the UK is struggling to find a balance. The decision to ban foreign students except top university admissions is bound to hit the migration hopes of thousands of students in India who were planning to use it as their ticket to greener pastures.
In the case of Indian students planning to go to the UK for higher studies, it is advisable to check out the list of universities where the ban is not applicable.
These students could also take a look at other alternative countries like the USA, Germany, France, and Singapore for their admissions. If they are medical students, they could check out Ukraine, China, Philippines.
We should wait and watch to see if this ban is indeed made applicable to foreign students.
It will help if interested students keep themselves aware of the latest developments. This will help them make informed decisions regarding their future.