Number of Indian-Origin Academics Rises in UK

There are more than 5,000 academics of Indian origin in the United Kingdom now, according to a recent report.


The number of academics of Indian origin in the United Kingdom has crossed the 5,000-mark, showing their proficiency in their respective areas of study, according to the UK Higher Education Student Statistics of 2016-17.

The rise in this category comes despite a decline in the number of Indian students going to the United Kingdom to study. “The number of students from India has declined by 26 per cent between 2012-13 and 2016-17, despite it being the country with the fourth largest number of students in the United Kingdom,” the HESA said in a statement. It also said that the number of students from China was 14 per cent higher in 2016-17 than in 2012-13.

In 2016-17, the number of academics who are either Indian citizens or British citizens of Indian origin was 5,245, of which 2,185 were Indian citizens, the data released from HESA on Jan. 11 showed, the Hindustan Times reported.

“The number of students from India however, was 5,825 less than in 2012 and 13. The decline in students from India began in 2010-11,” said the statement.

Universities like Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, King’s College London, and the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine were shown to have the highest number of Indian-origin academics. Clinical medicine has the highest number of Indian-origin academics, followed by other subjects like business management, biosciences, mechanical, aero and production engineering, and information technology, the report added. Many academics from India went to the United Kingdom to pursue Ph.D and later took up academic posts.

The study also showed that in general, female students in 2016-17 were more likely to study subjects related to medicine than any other subject. “Of first year female students, 19 per cent chose to study subjects allied to medicine. In comparison, male students in 2016-17 were most likely to study business and administrative studies,” the statement said.

On Jan. 15, the UK Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee called on the government to remove students from the net migration target. In its report, the committee said that it is not logical or in the best interests of the United Kingdom to include international students in a target meant for restricting migration flow.

The UK government has also taken many steps to encourage inflow of foreign students. New immigration rules have made switching to work visas more flexible for foreign students pursuing higher education in the United Kingdom. According to the new rules, international students can now switch to skilled worker visa or the Tier-2 visa immediately after completing their course, the Times of India reported. Tier 2 is the main immigration route for working in the United Kingdom and is meant for skilled workers with a job offer.

On Dec. 18 last year, the United Kingdom announced the extension of a pilot student visa scheme to 23 more universities. The new scheme is likely to benefit many Indian and other non-European Union students.

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