London's universities are awarding Indian students almost 25 lakh rupees (£2.5 million) in scholarships every year, new research shows. A survey of 17 universities found that almost Rs.25 lakh of scholarship money has been awarded over the last three years to Indian students who want to study in the UK capital. London is eager to maintain its academic and cultural links with India.
The research by the London University International Partnership (LUIP) shows London's eagerness to maintain its academic and cultural links with India in the wake of the recent fall in visiting students. The number of Indian students enrolling in UK universities dropped by a quarter in 2012-13, having already fallen by almost a third the previous year. Stricter student visa rules have been blamed as well as the axing in 2012 of the post-study work visa, which gave international students the automatic right to work after graduation for two years. Yet 85% of Indian students and alumni surveyed by the LUIP, in seperate research, said a London education had widened their horizons and given them the opportunity to explore a greater choice of careers. Over 70 per cent said that studying in London was well worth the investment and nearly three quarters of students said the experience of living in a modern city with a rich history, free museums, and a multi-cultural society was a really significant benefit.
Indian-born industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, chancellor of the University of Westminster, said studying in London was an excellent investment. London is one of the best cities in the world to study," he said. "London and India have great cultural and business ties and it is testament to the strength of the relationship that London universities offer so many scholarships to students from India. A London education can be a great investment in a young person’s future and I believe it really enhances the chances of succeeding in your career.”
The British Council recently announced the biggest number of scholarships in India ever launched in a year by offering 370 scholarships worth almost £1 million across UK universities. London universities are also working closely on a number of educational projects in India. A number have set up centres to assist prospective students from India through the admission process and to help them with preparations for coming to study in London.
The UK Government places no restriction on the number of overseas students who can study in the UK. Overseas students can work while studying and also undertake work placements. International students can remain in the UK to work after graduation if offered a qualifying job, or even if they have an innovative business idea that they want to work on.
Jennifer Parsons, Chair LUIP India, said: “Studying in London is an investment and not just in terms of money. As businesses become more and more international, a combination of high quality teaching and critical thinking skills helps set London students apart, making them very marketable in a global market. We really value our special relationship with India and are now investing in a number of long term partnerships and on the ground resources to enhance and develop the relationship for the future.”
Approximately 105,000 students from 222 countries come to study in London contributing £2.5 billion to the city’s economy. London welcomes more international students than any other city in the world.
Student Vinay Menon, studying MSC in Development Economics at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), said: “A London education is definitely an investment worth making and not just in terms of money. For me the whole experience of being a student in London has broken down cultural barriers. Until you have studied abroad you don’t understand how much more comfortable you are dealing with people from all over the world.”