Wednesday, July 09, 2014

British universities bending over with scholarships to attract Indian students

British universities are bending over with scholarships, to attract Indian students into their campuses. A first of its kind survey of a third of London's universities has found that in total an average of Rs. 250 million (£2.5 million) has been awarded to students each year from India and over Rs. 700 million (£7 million) over the last three years. The figure could actually be three times higher (over £7 million per year) as just 17 universities in the London University International Partnership (LUIP) took part in the study.

Lord Swraj Paul, Chancellor of the University of Westminster and a leading NRI in UK said, "London is one of the best cities in the world to study. London and India have great cultural and business ties and it is testament to the strength of the relationship that London universities offer so many scholarships to students from India. A London education can be a great investment in a young person's future and I believe it really enhances the chances of succeeding in your career".

Kevin McCarthy, Head of, said "London is the most diverse city in the world and its international student body is no exception. London is home to over 105,000 international students from 220 nations. Students studying in London not only replicate London's diversity but also contribute hugely to the city's vibrancy".

Jennifer Parsons, Chair of LUIP India, said "Studying in London is an investment and not just in terms of money. As businesses become more and more international, a combination of high quality teaching and critical thinking skills helps set London students apart, making them very marketable in a global market". The British Council recently announced the biggest number of scholarships in India ever launched in a year by offering 370 scholarships worth almost £1 million across UK universities.

The LUIP Alumni Survey found that 24% and 19% of students in UK hailed from Mumbai and Delhi (NCR), respectively. Survey respondents came from a range of academic disciplines. Of those surveyed, 31% studied business, 26% studied science, technology, engineering & Math (STEM), 19% studied Arts & Humanities, 17% studied Social Sciences, and 6% studied Health & Medicine.

The Vice chancellor of Britain's premiere Cambridge University recently warned that Britain's stance on migration is increasingly making Indian students feel unwelcome. Professor Leszek Borysiewicz who has now openly criticized the government's crude numerical targets on immigration warned that "there was an emerging perception, particularly in India, that Britain was not welcoming". According to him, setting a target of 100,000 migrants a year hinders "the true potential benefit that people coming to Britain can actually have". 

The numbers of students to all universities coming to the UK from India fell by 38% between 2011 and 2012. It is estimated that the overall value of UK higher education exports to the economy in 2011-12 was around £10 billion. Income from international (non-EU) students generated through their tuition fees in 2012-13 came to £3 billion, which represented around 30% of all tuition fee.

England has recorded a sharp dip in overseas students enrolling in British universities - the first fall in nearly three decades (29 years), thanks to Indians giving it a skip. Data revealed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) shows that the number of Indian students fell from 18,535 in 2010-11 to 13,250 in 2011-12 and further to 10,235 in 2012-13.

Source: The Times of India, July 9, 2014

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