The number of Indians granted visa to study at UK universities has registered a 6 per cent increase for the first time since 2009
According to latest UK government statistics, between July and September this year, 8,692 student visas – known as Tier 4 visas – were granted to Indian applicants, compared with 8,224 issued during the same period in 2015.
Sponsored visa applications from Indians to study in the UK increased by 5 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to 9,207, the largest number since 2013.
“The increase is an important market breakthrough point,” Richard Everett, director of education at British Council India, told the ‘Times Higher Education’.
He attributed the increase to “deeper relationships between UK and Indian universities, greater transparency over the Tier-4 visa application process and an increase in Indian visa applications.
The latest visa figures come in the wake of reports that the UK Home Office was finalising plans to cut annual student visa figures by nearly half, from the current 300,000 to 170,000.
A UK Home Office spokesperson said: “We want to strengthen the system to support the best universities – and those that stick to the rules – to attract the best talent”.
“The British people have sent a clear message that they want more control of immigration and we are committed to getting net migration down to sustainable levels in the tens of thousands.”