Indian Students Proceeding for UK Universities despite Lockdown Disruption

Despite the disruption created by the lockdown, Indian students are on course to take up programs at UK universities later this year. According to the figures released in London recently, there is a 32.9 percent rise in applications from India in 2020 over the previous year. This brings the total number to 6,230.

An analysis by The Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), which coordinates the centralized application process for British universities, found that amid an overall spike in applications this year, most applicants were holding a firm offer to start a course from the autumn semester, that is, at the end of September.

Vivienne Stern, Director, of Universities UK International, which represents 143 leading British universities, said that it’s great news that more international students continue to choose a high-quality UK education.

As per the UCAS figures, there were a total of 568,330 applicants for the January 15 deadline, up 1.2 percent from 2019. Out of these applicants, 73,080 are from outside the European Union (EU). This is 14.7 percent more than in 2019. This growth in the number of applicants is largely driven by significant proportional increases in the number of applicants from China, India, and Hong Kong, which have the largest number of applicants through UCAS.

Also, this year more undergraduate applicants have accepted an offer to immediately start studying at a university/college compared to last year. The figures follow a joint open letter addressed to international students by trade, universities, and education ministers across the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom, earlier this week.

The letter notes that UK universities are continuing to recruit international students and encourages students to apply even if they are unable to travel to the UK to meet the usual timelines.

The UK government had earlier issued updated guidance to confirm that international students, including Indians, will remain eligible for post-study work rights at the end of their degree course even if they have to begin the 2020-21 academic year online from abroad, given the Covid-19 related travel restrictions.

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