Increase in Student Applications from India to UK Universities


The internationally recognized universities, premium quality of education, research opportunities and the unique culture of the UK attract many students from around the world every year, and if recent UCAS reports are to be believed, the numbers are rising steeply. Also, Brexit has had an impact on the foreign policies of the United Kingdom and is making it easier for students outside the European Union to study and work in the country. According to the reports by the University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), around 4700 students applied for different courses in the universities of the UK this year, which is a rise of almost 5% in the number of applications sent. Also, this year there are a record number of undergraduate students who have applied to UK universities.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) of the UK has also revealed there has been a 28% increase in the number of enrolments from India to the universities in the academic year 2017-2018 as compared to 2016-2017. This rise comes after a slowdown of 3 years in the number of applications. While other Asian countries like China, Hong Kong, and Singapore have had a steady number of applications in the past few years, the rise in Indian applicants is being perceived as a welcome change by universities in the United Kingdom. Post Britain’s exit from the European Union, there have also been several changes made in the UK’s visa and immigration policies, which are enticing more number of applications from India. The following are the changes made to the policies and their implications:

  1. Both UG and Master’s students would be able to stay in the UK for up to six months after graduating and find work: This is big news for Indian students as it allows students to find a good opportunity to work in the UK after their degree. Thus, students get ample time to look for suitable work opportunities in the UK and convert their study visa to a work visa. Naturally, with such a policy, student numbers are set to ascend in the coming few years.
  2. Ph.D. students can stay up to a year in the UK after completing their degrees and find work in the UK: As per the recent policy change, students can stay in the UK for a year after graduation and look for work or research opportunities. This provides ample time for students to get a good job and gain valuable experience.
  3. Students would also have three months before graduation during which they can look for a job and change their visa type: This new ruling provides students the option to look for a job 3 months before they can complete the degree. Students can also use this time to change their visa from a student visa to a work visa for the UK and start their respective careers. There is a very high demand for skilled workers in the UK today and companies there prefer candidates who have learned from UK’s finest universities. Therefore, students are likely to be absorbed in different institutions across this country, making it an attractive study location for students from India and around the world.
  4. Overseas graduates would be provided two years post their degree to change their study visa to a work visa even from outside the UK: Even if a student could not procure a job and change the visa type during their stay, they can, through this new policy, apply for UK jobs from outside the country. This is surely set to boost employment opportunities for overseas students to a great extent.

Given the above factors, the number of students applying for universities in the UK from India is sure to increase. There are many universities in the UK which offer world-renowned graduate, postgraduate and MBA courses and most of them have clubs for the Indian community there. There are also universities like the University of Greenwich, Middlesex University, Cardiff University and the University of Bedfordshire which have a high number of Indian enrollments. Such universities, through their engagement programs and student clubs, also play a big role in making Indian students feel at home. Moreover, today there are more professional organizations than ever that help students with UK applications and help them in the visa process as well, which are sure to give a spike to the number of admissions from India in the years to come.

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