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New student visa rules to hit varsities

world Updated: Feb 11, 2010 15:14 IST

PTI
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British universities fear that tighter visa rules for Indian students could hit their revenues as these students are among the highest-paying.

Not only would the British Universities lose huge fees, but they fear that these students could turn to other international varsities.

Universities in the US and Australia are the top destinations for Indian students and the UK had recently started catching up.

According to official figures, the direct value of students from India and other non-European Union countries to the UK economy is estimated at 8.5 billion pounds annually.

Home secretary Alan Johnson announced a tighter student visa regime this week, days after Britain suspended issuing student visas in north India, Nepal and Bangladesh, suspecting large scale irregularities.

The new rules, which include a higher bar for English language skills, come into effect from March third.

Students from India and elsewhere pay at least three times more fees than British and European Union students.

However, the new rules have led to much concern in universities that derive a substantial percentage of their income from international students.

The new rules have been put in place amidst major funding cuts announced recently for British universities.