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Falling pound makes UK cheaper for Indian students

The number of Indian students coming to British universities has dwindled in recent years, but there is some cheer for those enrolling for the new academic year later this month: the fall in pound’s value after the June 23 Brexit vote has brought down the cost of study here.

world Updated: Sep 18, 2016 21:07 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Falling pound

A group of graduates gather outside the Sheldonian Theatre to have their photograph taken after a graduation ceremony at Oxford University.(REUTERS FILE)

The number of Indian students coming to British universities has dwindled in recent years, but there is some cheer for those enrolling for the new academic year later this month: the fall in pound’s value after the June 23 Brexit vote has brought down the cost of study here.

From a high of around Rs 100 to a pound before the Brexit vote, the value is hovering around Rs 88, making the amount needed in rupees to meet the cost of annual fees cheaper by nearly Rs 1.5 lakh (on a notional annual course fee of 10,000 pounds).

“There is always a silver lining in everything and for Indian students, Brexit has brought about just this silver lining. The recent weakening of sterling is a welcome change for many current and new students joining British universities this year,” said Sanam Arora of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (UK). “This significant fall in costs is a short-term trend and would advise students to both take full advantage of this cheaper pound but at the same time be cautious and not base long-term decisions on uncertain market movements” she told HT.

Course fees for Indian and other non-EU students vary at different universities and for different subjects, but are usually substantially more than those applicable to UK/EU students, which is currently set at 9,000 pounds, but is likely to rise.

Said Gurgaon-based A. N. Sen, whose sons have studied in Britain: “Falling pound value has certainly made it slightly cheaper as my second son begins his second university year in London this month. I look forward to more such developments in future.”

The number of Indian students enrolling at British universities has come down since 2012 when the David Cameron government abolished the post-study work visa, which allowed non-EU students to stay and work for two years after completing their courses.

Several universities and stakeholders have lobbied the government to ease visa rules for non-EU students and help lift negative perceptions about studying in Britain in countries such as India, which has historically been among major sources of high fee-paying international students.