There has been a modest rise in the number of Indian students choosing to move to the UK. The surprise results come at the start of what promises to be another tumultuous year in British politics as the debate over Brexit continues to rumble on. There is now even the potential for a second referendum on the future of the UK in the EU. The change bucks a trend of reduction in the numbers of students going to the UK to study from India by 50% since 2010. The news will be welcomed on both sides as a show of improving relations and a way for British universities to increase their coffers at a time of reducing need from domestic students.
The UK’s Office for National Statistics has said that 14,081 Indian students enrolled in courses at British educational institutions during 2017 and that figure may well rise again in 2018. That 27% year on year increase was a surprise and it is not entirely understood why there has been such a change. But there certainly has been a huge change and it will seemingly benefit both countries. India will gain exceptionally trained people and the UK can push their universities to make more money and improve.
There was also an increase in the number of visas given to Indian nationals visiting the UK. There were 93,700 applications with 53,009 granted giving a figure of 57% acceptance. These are good signs of an improvement in British-Indian relations and a key partnership that will flourish after Brexit. The UK will still need migrants to come to the UK once they leave the European Union in 2019 and it is widely thought that countries such as India and Australia will be the bulk of where these migrants will come from. Traditionally this has been the case, but since the extension of the EU borders in 2004, there has been an influx of Europeans to the UK.
Indeed in the early days after the Brexit referendum, both the Indian and Australian Government’s used the referendum result to try and glean better opportunities for their citizens. Though these attempts were swiftly rebuffed by the British Government, it is highly likely that behind the scenes there is much negotiation happening between these countries. It will be beneficial on all sides to come to a sensible resolution on the future of immigration.
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