A report released in London suggested the UK government double its post-study visa offer to four years, reported Travel Biz monitor. This could double the number of Indian students choosing UK universities by 2024.
“Universities Open to the World: How to put the bounce back in Global Britain” warns about the 50-75% drop in international students making the country’s higher education sector vulnerable. It was prepared by former UK Universities Minister Jo Johnson (also the younger brother of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson) for the Policy Institute at King’s College London and the Harvard Kennedy School.
This offer would be a total game-changer
Indian students have brought about a strong hike in numbers choosing universities in recent months. An expansion of the ability to work at the end of a degree course; and to include Indians in the low-risk student visa category of countries, akin to China, would interest Indians.
“For students in India, this offer would be a total game-changer. It would be sensational for the ability of our universities to go and market British higher education in India,” said Jo Johnson
“The increase that I am proposing to the post-study work visa will be of particular appeal to students from India, who are very sensitive to whether or not they have an ability to stay on in the country after they graduate to put to use the skills they have acquired in higher education and earn a bit of money to help them pay the pretty considerable fees that our universities charge them,” he said, adding that the UK prime minister has always been a “strong supporter” of international students and will consider this proposal.
“The issue is that the world has not stood still. Coronavirus is significantly going to reduce the number of international students that are globally mobile this coming year and probably following years as well,” he explains.
The UK government will set up a post-study visa route
The UK is well-positioned to capitalize on an “unmet demand from India”, according to his report. An impressive 136% hike in student visa numbers in the year ending March 2020 was witnessed. It emphasizes the need for the UK to update visa processes and remove “hostile bureaucracy” around Britain’s university offering.
Under the current rules, the UK is set to open up a new “Graduate” visa route. It is commonly referred to as a post-study visa. This offers international students from countries like India to switch onto a skilled work visa after two years. This is if they find a job that meets the skill requirements of the route. The new report wants this expanded further amid concerns raised by UK universities of the adverse impact of the worldwide.