British Labour Party leader Jeremy Bernard Corbyn Saturday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he “shares the concerns” of the Indian side on the declining trend of Indian students in UK’s universities, top Indian government sources told The Sunday Express.
He met Modi at the hotel where the Indian delegation was staying in the UK.
Corbyn’s statement echoes Modi’s concerns, which were conveyed to British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday. The number of Indian students have dropped in three years by 50 per cent, due to new rules which do not allow students to work after finishing their studies. This is seen by the Indian students as a big disincentive, and they are choosing other destinations like the US and Australia for higher education.
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The number of Indian students coming to the UK fell from 18,535 in 2010-11 to 10,235 in 2012-13, according to a report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Corbyn, who said he loves to travel on Indian trains, has visited Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai in the past. He also expressed his interest to visit India again.
Terror attacks in Paris also figured in their conversation.
The British opposition leader complimented Modi on his speech at the UN, and his views on climate change and poverty alleviation.
Corbyn, the 66-year-old socialist who was elected leader of the Labour Party in a landslide victory two months ago, is among 46 British MPs who have signed a parliamentary motion asking Cameron to raise human rights issues with Modi. The outspoken extreme left-wing MP was not in the royal gallery when Modi addressed the parliamentarians on Thursday.
The meeting was being closely watched in the British media, as it was said he would challenge Modi on the rights issue. However, Corbyn, after the meeting, refused to speak to the media. “I will speak later,” he said.