A mix of easing Covid-19 restrictions and the new Graduate Route visa offering Indian students the chance to gain work experience at the end of their degree courses are reflecting in the official UK-India statistics in a positive way.
According to the latest UK Home Office data, compared with 2020, there was an increase of 45,677 (+102 per cent) in student visa grants to Indian nationals, reaching 90,669. This is as much as 197 per cent higher than the year ending September 2019.
On the professional end, skilled worker visas for Indians were also on the up by 53,295 (47 per cent) on the previous year.
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British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, took to Twitter to celebrate the figures and also to explain why it has been taking longer for his officials to process these documents.
“Student visas up 102% (90,669); Skilled worker visas up 47% (53,295) on previous year. Huge demand is why turnaround of visas is taking longer than usual; team working through cases #LivingBridge,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Universities UK International (UUKi) had called on the government to ensure the success of the Graduate Route visa and to reduce the financial barriers for international students.
“While there has been a growing realisation of the tremendous social and cultural benefits of international students, this study provides a stark reminder of their financial importance to communities across the UK, economic recovery and the levelling up agenda,” said Vivienne Stern, UUKi Director.
“We now need fresh ideas and stronger momentum to achieve the UK government’s international education strategy target of attracting at least 600,000 international students every year by 2030 and the good this will bring to everyone,” she said.
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