More South Indian Students Applying to UK Universities

Number of applications from South Indian students for UK universities rose by nine per cent last year.


The number of applications received from South Indian students seeking admission in the United Kingdom increased by nine per cent last year as compared to previous years. The number of applicants from the five states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana was running flat two years ago until last year, Bharat Joshi, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, said.

Rising Student Interest in UK

“Students have started to understand much better what the UK system is,” Joshi said at an event in the city, adding that the quality of students applying to universities in the United Kingdom has also improved. He also talked about the increase in visit visas issued to Indian citizens.

Cheaper exchange rate leading to lower educational costs due to Brexit has played a crucial role in the increased interest of Indian students towards the country, according to Joshi.

“Indian students are now more aware of the UK education system and the way it works. About 90 per cent of students are opting for proper universities and high-quality institutions. The quality of students applying too has improved over the years leading to higher number of visa issuances. The exchange rate has also become more favorable for Indian students following Brexit which has lowered their educational costs by about 16%,” he said, the Times of India reported.

Joshi pointed out that Brexit has not had a negative impact on immigration.

For the year ending March 2017, 4.14 lakh visitor visas were issued, of which 11,000 were student visas, and 5,000 were short-term study visas. In the same time period, the UK government issued 60,000 workers visas.

“We are consistently seeing a growth of 10 per cent year on year with the highest being visitor visas — about 80 per cent of the total visas,” he said.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects continue to be the favorite subjects among Indian students in the United Kingdom, even though a growing trend of opting for humanities and business courses has been seen in the last couple of years.

The British envoy urged candidates from Tamil Nadu to come forward and make use of various scholarships offered by universities in the country, particularly the Chevening scholarships that have seen low number of applications. He revealed that out of 100 applicants for the Chevening scholarships, only six are from Kerala and Tamil Nadu together. For a full paid scholarship, these numbers are very low, he said.

No Effect of Brexit

Brexit has not affected Indian students in any manner, Joshi said, since the large diaspora population allays their apprehensions.

“Indians have been going to study in the UK for decades and millions have migrated over the years. So the UK has its doors wide open for Indian students, especially because they are such bright and diligent students,” he said.

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