The UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) has found that there has been a major drop in students opting for UK as a destination to study abroad. It noted that in 2010 there were 40,500 student visas that were approved for Indian students and this decreased to 9,600 in 2016.
“Our analysis shows that India represents the fourth largest student population in the capital, contributing 130 million pounds in spend to the UK economy. It is vital that international students continue to feel welcome in our city and we look forward to helping more Indian students wanting to study in London,” said Andrew Cooke, CEO of London & Partners and Study London.
The report further noted that a majority of Indian students have a tendency to leave soon after graduation before their visa expires. It was found that about 7,469 Indian students left the country before their visa expiry date while only 2,209 chose to stay behind and request an extension in their visas.
“Thai, Chinese, Indian and North American (US) students were more likely to depart before their study visas or extensions expired, whereas Russian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Saudi Arabian students were more likely to extend their leave to remain,” ONS data said.
The most recent data shows that information on students over-staying in UK may have been inflated in the past. Taking this into account, UK home secretary Amber Rudd has commissioned a new assessment on the effects on UK economy and labour market by international students from both EU and non-EU nations.
“There is no limit to the number of genuine international students who can come to the UK to study and the fact that we remain the second most popular global destination for those seeking higher education is something to be proud of. We understand how important students from around the world are to our higher education sector, which is a key export for our country, and that’s why we want to have a robust and independent evidence base of their value and the impact they have,” said Rudd.
The hope is that the MAC report which will be released in September 2018 will push UK PM Theresa May to subtract student figures from the overall data on migration. The report will examine how spending by international students impacts local and national economy and will also look into their contribution to economic growth and improvement in education quality for domestic students.