Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has called for a Commonwealth UK visa programme to reverse the dramatic decline in students from India attending UK universities.
Approximately 100,000 international students are approved to study at London universities each year; a figure which the mayor’s office says is above any other city throughout the world.
The appeal of students from India is a big one with those studying in London contributing £130 million in revenues through applications fees and living costs – the third biggest group. However Since 2010 number have been in steady decline according to official figures with 39,090 between 2010/11 to 19,750 in 2013/14.
Johnson’s proposal includes a post-study work visa which would allow students to live & work in the UK for two years after graduation. Intially to be trialled with Indian citizens, and if successful the rollout could be extended to other Commonwealth countries.
He has also proposed a similar two-year work programme for science, engineering and technology overseas graduates & whilst not restricted to nationality it could prove popular amongst Indian students who are statistically know to favor study in those fields.
“Current restrictions on overseas students are putting off the brightest Indian minds from coming to study in the capital and it is crazy that we should be losing India’s top talent and global leaders of the future to countries like Australia and the United States,” stated Johnson.