Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Visa regime: Decline in Indian students to UK

The number of Indian students coming to Britain for the new academic year starting later this month has showed a significant decline even before the crisis at London Metropolitan University (LMU) hit international headlines. The London School of Economics (LSE) has witnessed a 20 per cent decline this year in Indian students, a percentage reflected across several British universities.

The final number of Indian and other non-EU students joining in the new academic year will be released in January. The decline in student numbers at LSE suggests that even well known institutions have taken a hit after Britain's immigration officials put in place new restrictions for international students. The decline is reported to be between 20 and 30 per cent at other universities.

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament published its report on the student visa system on Tuesday. The PAC flayed the “chaos” in the student visa system. It criticised attempts to tighten student visas in the points-based visa system introduced in 2009 and called them “poorly planned and ill thought-out”.

LMU’s licence was revoked by the UK Border Agency last week due to what it called”serious and systemic failures”. The decision affects 359 Indian students. LMU vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies said Tuesday that it had instructed solicitors to launch “urgent legal action to challenge the revocation”.

Source: The Indian Express, September 5, 2012

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