Leading UK University Official Talks About Possible Cutbacks on Post-Study Work Visa


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on May 09, 2023 01:47 PM IST

As significant changes loom around the international education sector in the UK, an interview with a spokesperson from a leading institution sheds light on the possibilities that await Indian students.

Leading UK University Official Talks About Possible Cutbacks on Post-Study Work Visa

Among the many study-abroad destinations in the world, students across the globe prefer countries like the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. However, the UK has been garnering popularity among students significantly, with the country seeing significant growth in international student enrolment numbers since the beginning of the pandemic.

As per reports, more than 160,000 Indian students have chosen UK student visas till September 2022, a 78% hike compared to the 2021 UK student visa applications. While the UK had, till last year, been working towards attracting more students for higher education, recent media reports reveal a possible upcoming development that may change the course of direction for the UK’s international education sector.

Reports highlighted new UK visa policies where foreign national students may only be able to stay back in the UK after graduation for 6 months if they fail to find a job. In an interview conducted by The Free Press Journal with the Vice President and Director of Global Engagement at the University of Sheffield, Dr Malcolm Buttler, steps taken by the university to accommodate and welcome Indian students were highlighted, especially during such unprecedented times.

Also Read: India-UK Free Trade Agreement: India Pushes For Student Visa Relaxations

Accommodating over 30,000 international students from 150 countries, of which 800 are Indian students, the University of Sheffield is currently prepping to welcome more this September. Among the popular disciplines and courses chosen by Indian students include a variety of Engineering subjects like Computer Science, Aerospace Engineering, and more. The University has also seen a surge in the number of applications for Biosciences and Data Science courses as well.

Dr Buttler also highlighted the variety of scholarships that Indian students can avail, especially those who display excellent academic results and merit. Among the scholarships, the university offers a 50% scholarship for undergraduate students that is offered every year and a 25% scholarship for postgraduate-taught students.

Speaking on the post-study work opportunities, the University highlighted its effort in helping students use the Graduate Route. Meanwhile, Dr Buttler also spoke of the efforts the university takes in helping students get work opportunities while they complete their studies at the university.

Also Read: Imperial College London's Scholarships Worth GBP 400,000 for Indian Students; 50% Funds for Female Scholars

Dr Buttler also highlighted the steps taken by the university to overcome the accommodation crisis in the UK. He stated that the university guarantees a room in the university accommodation to all new students provided they meet the simple requirements. On the other hand, speaking on the impacts of the UCU strikes, the university assured that Sheffield University students are less likely to be significantly impacted. Moreover, the university has pledged support for the students which includes taking steps to ensure assessments, evaluations and graduations are undertaken as per schedule.

Settling the concerns regarding possible cutbacks in post-study work visas, the University assured its support for longer work visas. Dr Buttler cited the university’s #WeAreInternational campaign, an initiative the university started 10 years ago and continues to push to this date. The university continues to emphasise the impact the international students make on the UK’s economy, the local community and the cultural vibrancy, Dr Buttler stated.

The University’s colleagues at the Russell Group and Universities UK have challenged the possible cutbacks on post-study work visas announced by the government. Moreover, the government have also realised the importance of the graduate route.

Source: The Free Press Journal

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