CEO of UK urges Government to ease Visa Restrictions for International Students

This week, the Conservative Party Conference took place in which the CEO of Universities UK (UUK), Nicola Dandridge attended and participated in “Making the UK the HQ for Global Talent.” Ms Dandridge urged the UK Government to ease visa restrictions for international students and make it easier for them to stay and work in the UK once they have graduated. This comes as a new report has revealed that the number of Indian students enrolling in UK Universities continues to fall.

UUK Nicola Dandridge: we need an Immigration System that Attracts Skilled People

Ms Dandridge explained at the event that countries such as Australia and Canada are seeing an increase in the number of international students attending universities in their countries. She put this down to their ‘progressive immigration policies’, which allows students to live and work in the country after they have graduated and obtained a degree. Ms Dandridge stated:

“If we attract skilled and talented individuals from around the globe then in turn we will also attract major businesses seeking to employ them. An immigration system that attracts skilled people to our country can be part of a virtuous circle benefiting all of society.”

Number of Indian Students Enrolling Continue to fall

As Ms Dandridge aims to convince the Government to ease visa restrictions for international students a new report shows a decrease in the number of international students from India, Pakistan and Saudia Arabia. 100 institutions in the UK who participated in the survey showed that although there is a growth in the overall  overseas recruitment in the latest academic year, there appears to be a drop in enrollment from certain countries.

Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show:

  • The number of Indian students enrolling in their first year in 2012-13 fell from 23,985 to 12,280;
  • During the same period students from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia also fell by 38% and 35%;
  • Despite decreases of students from the above there was an increase over the last two years from China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Making the overall decline in the number of first-year students from overseas from 174,225 to 171,910.

The survey also showed that there was a 10% drop in the number of students enrolling in science, engineering, technology and maths courses over the two years. Which are thought to be courses that are popular amoungst students from the Indian subcontinent.

On 29 September 2014, at the Conservative Party Conference Ms Dandridge emphasised:

“We do not want to lose our leading position as a destination for the increasing numbers of students who want a higher education overseas.”

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