23 June 2009
Study in the UK increasingly popular with Indian students
The UK may once again emerge as a preferred destination for higher studies among Indian students, The Economic Times reported.
Over time, the UK has slipped to third place as the chosen foreign country by Indian students: in 2008, only 29,000 students landed on UK’s shores, against 90,000 for the US and 36,000 for Australia.
“The pattern of education is the same in Australia and the UK, as they both offer similar courses. And since, UK enrolls students in the September period versus July for Australia, this is still an open option for students,” said the director of a large education consultancy firm in Mumbai.
The average fee for a course in engineering or MBA is the same in the UK as that in Australia.
The UK, which was the original foreign destination of Indian students since late 1800s, has seen architects of modern India such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru study in its elite universities. It was only in the second half of 1900s that the US become the choice of a majority of Indian students, and in the early 2000s Australia.
“Those who do not want to settle abroad or have plans to take up a job elsewhere opt for the UK. However, most of them want to start their career abroad and settle there, and Australia gives them this opportunity,” said an industry official requesting anonymity.
“A lot of students choose Australia because of the vocational courses offered by its universities. The most-sought-after courses among Indian students are hotel management, hospitality, accounting and hair-dressing,” said Piyush Agrawal, a director at Abroad Education Consultants.
However, in the recent past, the visa application process has become tedious in Australia, and as a result, the current academic year has seen around 25 per cent of the students opting for the UK as a study destination.
The number of visas issued to Indian passport holders to enter New Zealand to study almost doubled in 2008 to 4,978 from the previous year.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visas and immigration services.