The furor that the immigration issue has created, it is increasingly becoming difficult for aspiring applicants from countries like India to go to the UK for higher studies. The result being that there has been a sharp decline in the number of applications. Going by the recent trends, the Universities of UK has urged the government to do away with the method of taking international students from its yearly target of immigration cuts. Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK said that the recent crackdown on visas by the Government has lead to the perception that the international students are not welcome there and it may lead to decrease in business by the Universities. She coherently stated that if the UK wants to maintain its position of being the top destination for international students, it would need to imbibe alterations in the existing immigration policy. Such a policy would be required that you infuse confidence in international students to choose the UK as their study destination. She feels that the UK needs to approach the international talented community and make them feel safe than anything else now. Goodfellow’s comments clearly voice the results of a poll that were conducted by Universities UK. According to the poll, almost a good 73% of the British public were in favor of students from international communities and countries coming to the UK to study. Against this, a meager 26% of the British population viewed international students as immigrants. Another study by UK’s official agency for the study of quantitative information about higher education, Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), showed a decline of 9% in the year 2015-16 in the number of applications of international students and with the new immigration policy, this gap seems to be on the rise. What is worth mentioning here is that the highest percentage of decrease has been registered in India with a massive 44% between 2011-12 and 2015-16. The Universities UK along with various other groups have laid down a referendum to the UK government for a new immigration policy to facilitate international students to study there. A leading Indian-origin entrepreneur and Cobra Beer founder, Lord Bilimoria said that the two-year post- study work visa UK must be reintroduced so that the foreign students can implement their newly learned skills and it can give a boost to the UK economy. The said visa was withdrawn in the year 2012 and it was recently reintroduced.
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