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Data Reveals Indian Students Turning Away from British Universities

With a four percent decline in Indian applicants to British universities, official statistics released on Thursday revealed that students in that country are starting to show signs of giving up on applying to British universities amid ongoing reviews for post-study work visas and limitations on bringing dependents along on government-funded scholarships.

While the overall number of international students for undergraduate spaces increased by 0.7%, Nigerians and Indians were leading the decline following previous record increases.

Applications from India declined 4% to 8,770 compared to last year, while those from Nigeria fell 46% to 1,590.

UK higher education remains appealing worldwide, with a 0.7% rise in overseas applicants. China saw the greatest rise (3 percent, 910 applicants), followed by Turkey (37%, 710 applicants), and Canada (14%, 340 applicants). According to the UCAS data for this year, there has been a 46% decline in applications from Nigeria and a 4% decrease in India.

The explanation for this fall following regular increases is most likely the ongoing assessment of the Graduate Route visa, which allows graduates to remain on and get work experience for at least two years after their degree.

The Home Office commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to evaluate this post-study work visa, as it is commonly referred to. In the student visa category, Indian nationals represent the largest group of students granted leave to remain on this route, making up 43 per cent of grants last year.

Another factor behind the drop is likely to be a clampdown in effect from last month on overseas students on all but postgraduate research courses and courses with government-funded scholarships bringing along dependents, or close family members, to the UK.

While today’s data shows a decline in applications from mature students, which will be more keenly felt in some subjects such as nursing, we know that these applicants are more likely to apply later in the cycle, said Dr Jo Saxton, Chief Executive at UCAS.

For any students who missed the deadline or are still undecided on their next steps into higher education, they can still apply until June 30, and afterward directly to Clearing, and plenty of choices still remain. There is a wealth of support, guidance, and tips on the UCAS website to help anyone make informed choices about their futures, she said.

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