As the angst among prospective international students in UK grows over the recent immigration-related announcements, UK’s Deputy Foreign Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad has provided some assurance in his latest statement.
According to Lord Tariq Ahmad, the changes in the UK visa are not aimed towards undergraduate students from India. Acknowledging the benefits that Indian students have brought to the country, he added that the curbs had been put on students visiting the UK for one-year research and doctoral programmes.
On his four-day visit to India, Lord Ahmad worked towards strengthening the collaboration on science and technology between the UK and India. Among the locations he has scheduled, Lord Ahmad will look into the innovations in start-ups in Hyderabad. In his interview with the national media house, he assured that students wishing to pursue “undergraduate studies and research will always be welcomed.”
The recent tweaks in the UK visa regulations have been directed towards PhD students who travel to the country for one year and sometimes fail to complete their research, Lord Ahmad added. He also added that Britain wishes to welcome more Indian students and is currently only working towards curbing the influx of illegal immigrants.
Among the recent announcement the UK made, which has had thousands of prospective international students in UK worried, include the possible cutbacks on the post-study work visa and limiting the number of dependents that international students can bring to the UK.
Earlier this year, a leading UK university official spoke about possible cutbacks in the post-study work visa. According to the report, the official stated that the UK government could possibly change the number of months international students can stay back after graduation. Such changes have been rumoured since questions and concerns regarding the net immigration numbers were raised. However, even though the rumours were true, the UK government soon rejected the proposal.
However, the UK did change the rules surrounding the eligibility for international students to be able to bring dependents to the country while they complete their studies. However, many stakeholders of the sector have raised concerns and questions about the move as they believe a large majority of international students will be affected by the move, which may significantly affect the international student enrolment numbers in the UK.
Source: Economic Times
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