Surpassing Chinese nationals, Indian students have now become the largest group of foreign students in the UK, according to the latest Immigration Statistics Report released recently. The data shows that there has been a 77 per cent increase since 2019 in study visas of Indian students.
Nearly 24 per cent more study visas were issued in the year (ending September 2022) compared to the year ending September 2021, report reveals.
In total, there were 127,731 grants to main applicant Indian nationals in the year ending September 2022, an increase of 93,470 (+273 per cent) as against 34,261 in 2019. Indians were followed by Chinese nationals, with 116,476 visas granted to main applicants, 2 per cent fewer than the number seen in 2019 (119,231).
After India, it was Nigerian nationals who recorded another major increase in sponsored study visas of 44,162 (+650 per cent) to 50,960. Pakistan and Bangladesh are the other two countries in the top 5 nationalities in the list of sponsored study visas in the UK.
The data also shows that the Chinese nationals used to be the largest group of foreign students in the UK from 2010 and the year ending June 2022. The number of Chinese nationals decreased by around half (-56 per cent) to 51,909 in the year ending September 2020 as an after-effect of Covid-19. However, Indian, Nigerian, Pakistan and Bangladesh are all more than three times higher than they were in 2019.
According to the data released by the UK immigration, Chinese and Indian nationals together comprise over half (51 per cent) of all sponsored study grants.
In addition to study visas, India has also emerged as the top nationality that was granted visas in the skilled worker category, with 56,042 granted work visas in the past year. Indian nationals were also at the top (36 per cent) of tailored Skilled Worker Health and Care visas targeted at medical professionals, reinforcing Indian contribution to the state-funded National Health Service (NHS).