Indian students will not be hurt directly from the massive and controversial hike in tuition fee cap for UK universities, which was voted by the House of Commons on Thursday.
But representatives of top British universities are cautioning against ruling out a resultant fee hike for students from India and other non-European Union students.
“Fees will not rise immediately for students from India and other non-EU countries. But there may be hikes down the line for all students to meet the university’s budget requirements,” an administrator at the University of Cambridge said on condition of anonymity, specifying that his views were not restricted to Cambridge.
“Universities will, however, make sure that no student faces an inordinately massive burden,” the administrator added.
Over 57,000 Indian students joined higher education in the UK this year and Indians constitute the second largest group of foreign students in Britain after China.
The proposal involves hiking a cap on tuition fees that UK universities can charge domestic and EU students — from about 3000 to 9000 pound sterling per year.
Universities have no cap for fees charged from students from countries outside the EU and an Indian student typically pays between 9,000 and 14,000 pound sterling at present — more than a British or EU student.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron on a recent visit to China tried to tackle fears of the budget cuts on higher education being translated into higher tuition fees for foreign students.
“While the Prime Minister may try to assuage concerns of foreign students, it would be naive to presume that British universities will make domestic students alone pay for the huge financial crisis they will face as the budget cuts kick in,” the foreign student adviser at a top London university said on the condition that the varsity not be named.