British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith on Thursday said the number of Indian students in the UK is picking up after going through a decline in the last few years. He added that there is no attempt from the UK government to hold back foreign students willing to pursue university education in their country. “There was a decline in the number of Indian students in the UK since the last few years but it has picked back up by 10 per cent in the last year. Ninety per cent of those students are coming to pursue university education in the UK,” Asquith said at an interaction with the students of Heritage Institute here. “If anybody has the perception that there is any intention to keep students away, it is not true. Around 90 per cent of the Indians who apply for higher education in the UK get the visa. It was 83 per cent in 2010 and has been going up since then,” he said.
Citing the example of Edinburgh University where 99.7 per cent of the total Indian applicants end up getting through, Asquith said some of the UK-based universities have a remarkable record of Indian students applying and studying there. He said the drop in the number of Indian students in the UK was not because of the change in its student immigration policy but because a number of further education colleges were shut down by the government in 2010 as they were not offering any proper courses. “In 2010 we found out a large number of further education colleges were a hoax. They were not educating anybody. They never had a course. So we closed them as they were not colleges at all,” Asquith said.
“Back in 2010, there were 19,000 Indian students in the UK of whom 50 per cent went to further education colleges while the rest went to pursue university education. In today’s time 90 per cent of the students go for university education while 10 per cent go to pursue higher education courses,” he added.