Record UCAS entries of Indians to UK universities as Covid-19 travel rules ease

Record UCAS entries of Indians to UK universities as Covid-19 travel rules ease
Courtesy: andresr | E+ via Getty Images

A record number of 3,200 students from India have been accepted onto UK university and higher education courses through the country’s centralised application system this year, marking an increase of 19 per cent on 2020.

The latest Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) acceptance figures came as India was moved off the UK’s Red List Covid-19 travel ban on to Amber, with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) also revising its travel advisory. This would have a big impact on Indian students planning to travel to Britain to take up their courses as they no longer need to quarantine in a government-managed facility for 10 days at considerable additional cost. Instead, they can quarantine for the required 10 days at a chosen destination, which for many will be their university accommodation, or a friend or family home address.

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“We know India being moved from the Red to Amber list will be a significant and welcome move for those Indian students due to travel to the UK soon. Those students should stay in touch with their university and be aware of the latest procedure for amber list arrivals to ensure a smooth arrival,” said Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, which represents over 140 universities.

“UK universities are preparing to give a warm welcome to Indian students this autumn. Students have shown a great amount of patience and resilience in sticking with their plans to study overseas and we look forward to welcoming them, and welcoming them back, to our campuses and university communities,” she said.

All Amber List arrivals must have a negative Covid-19 test before travelling, as well as take a Covid test on Day 2 and Day 8 of their quarantine. In England, there is the option of paying for a test on Day 5, which if negative, will allow students to end their quarantine early.

The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK had been raising the plight of Indian students facing additional compulsory hotel quarantine costs of £1,750 under the Red List.

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NISAU UK Chairperson Sanam Arora said: “We are absolutely thrilled to see the numbers of Indian students accepted onto courses via UCAS go up by nearly a fifth as part of the overall significant increase in the numbers choosing to come to the UK to study.

“The UK now offers a wonderful proposition for Indian students – world-class education, a great post-study work offer, and through NISAU a home away from home for Indian students, which I can proudly say is a distinct offering for Indians going abroad to study.”

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