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Fewer Indian students going to UK since Cameron took office

india Updated: Jan 17, 2015 09:46 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times
David Cameron

The major reduction in the number of Indian students coming to the UK after the David Cameron government assumed office in 2010 has showed a steady downward spiral, with latest figures showing a further 12% decline.

Reasons for falling figures include curbs by the Cameron government to limit immigration, a negative perception about the UK among Indian students, a growing higher education sector in India, and better offers from countries like the US, Australia and Canada.

According to figures released by Higher Education Statistics Agency, the figure of Indian students has fallen 50% - from 39,090 in 2010-11 to 19,750 in 2013-14. India, however, retained the second spot, after China, for figures of international students coming to the UK.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of universities UK, said: "International figures showed modest recovery, but problems remain with recruitment from India. There is growing demand for quality higher education around the world, so the UK should be capitalising on this."

Currently, students completing their courses are allowed to switch to a work-related visa while remaining in the UK if they find a job with a minimum salary threshold set by the Home Office.

As political parties compete on the issue of immigration before the May 7 polls, home secretary Theresa May wants international students to return to their countries of origin and seek new work visas if they find a job and return to the UK. The proposal has been opposed by some of her party leaders and industry representatives.