Indian students begin turning away from UK universities for Master’s courses

User Profile Image

By admin

Posted on May 24, 2024


3 min read

Whatsapp Facebook LinkedIn

Over 21,000 fewer Master’s degree candidates than the previous year were registered in official statistics released in London on Thursday, indicating that the number of Indian students choosing the UK as their destination for higher education is starting to decline.

Based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK Home Office reports that, during the year ending in December 2023, there was a 16 per cent decrease in Indian student applications, contributing to a 10 per cent overall decline in net migration from 2022.

The data on student visas will concern universities that depend on foreign student fees, even though British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has made limiting immigration one of his main platforms for the general election now scheduled for July 4, will find the results encouraging.

The Home Office data states, “In the year ending March 2024, there were 116,455 sponsored study visa grants to main applicants that are Indian nationals, (26 per cent of the total), 21,717 fewer than the previous year.”

“Most Indian students (94,149, or 81%) come to the UK to study at the master’s level, and the recent decline in Indian students was caused by 21,800 fewer Indian nationals coming to study at the master’s level,” the report states.

The decline in enrollment comes after earlier this year’s visa ban on students’ ability to bring wives, kids, or other family members. It happens at a time when expatriate organizations and vice chancellors of universities are pressuring the government to abandon the Graduate Route program, which provides post-study work visas for the nation.

Indian citizens accounted for 64,372, or nearly half (46%) of the total number of students awarded visas via this route in the year ending in March 2024.

This confirms earlier data regarding this program, which gives graduates the opportunity to obtain work experience and is regarded as essential in helping Indians decide where to pursue their higher education.

The data released on Thursday also included information from the recently implemented India Young Professionals Scheme, which has a quota of 3,000 visas for youth per year and has granted 2,105 grants to Indian citizens as of March of this year. Nearly half of individuals coming to the UK for work-related reasons, mostly in the Health and Social Care sector, were from India or Nigeria, according to the ONS, and Indians continued to lead the list of those granted skilled worker visas.

In the year ending December 2023, the five non-EU nationalities with the highest long-term immigration flows into the UK were: Indian (250,000), Nigerian (141,000), Chinese (90,000), Pakistani (83,000), and Zimbabwean (36,000). According to ONS data, 532,000 persons left the UK in 2023 while 1.22 million entered the country overall.

In contrast to our updated estimate of 764,000 for the year ending December 2022, the ONS stated: “Long-term net migration (the number of people immigrating minus the number emigrating) was provisionally estimated to be 685,000 in the year ending (YE) December 2023; while it is too early to say if this is the start of a new downward trend, emigration increased in 2023, while new Home Office data show visa applications have fallen in recent months.”