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Getting a student visa to Britain will become easier

education Updated: Apr 03, 2009 14:22 IST

IANS
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Getting a student visa to Britain will become much simpler. All you need to ensure is that you have got admission to a college there and will be able to support yourself financially during the course of the study.

According to the UK Border Agency, which is responsible for regulating visas to the country, a new system has been launched which will encourage more students into applying to Britain colleges for their higher studies.

"We have recently launched the 'Tier 4 Student System', which streamlines the visa application process for students, making it easy and comprehensive," Barbara Woodward, director of the UK Border Agency, told reporters here Thursday

"According to this new system, the student should meet just two basic requirements - admission to a college and an assurance that he or she can support himself or herself during the course of the study."

This system, Woodward said, will also ask for accountability from the colleges licensed for international students.

"In the past, we had 1,500 colleges licensed for international students. However, later it came to our knowledge that some of them did not provide the expected quality of education to students. Therefore, we have started the relicensing process and over 1,000 fresh licences have been granted to colleges," Woodward said.

Britain has become one of the most sought after foreign destinations for Indian students.

"Last year we received about 0.5 million visa applications from India, of which 80 percent visas were granted. India constitutes 20 percent of the global visa work of the UK Border Agency," she added.

However, despite all the efforts by the agency, not many specialised professionals like consultant doctors, senior nurses, secondary teachers, skilled chefs and skilled caseworkers are coming forward.

"By streamlining the process, we can expect more skilled people to fill the key positions and the number of students to grow as well," Woodward said.