Lord Bilimoria to question India snub decision
UKCISA president Lord Bilimoria has told The PIE News he will use the first opportunity he gets to question the UK government on why India has been excluded from an extended list of “low risk” countries that will benefit from a streamlined student visa application process.
New additions include China, Bahrain and Mexico, but the exclusion of India has caused an outcry from many of the country’s media outlets.
“I will at the first opportunity be questioning the government about why was India has been left out of this list”
Lord Bilimoria told The PIE that it puts out a negative perception about the UK as a study destination for Indian students.
“[The UK] is in the global race for students, but the number of Indian students in the UK has more than halved in the past six years,” he said.
“Instead, our competitors such as Canada have been benefitting.”
Bilimoria told The PIE that the message the UK government is sending out to prospective Indian students is “do they really want us? Are we really going to be welcomed?”
“I will at the first opportunity be questioning the government in Parliament about why was India has been left out of this list while other countries such as China were added,” he said.
“India is now the fastest growing major economy in the world, one of the UK strongest partners and it has literally been insulted.
“I would urge Indian students – in spite of all the negative perceptions – to consider studying here, because we can give the best education in the world by far, and we are very proud of it.”
However, MD of Indian education consultancy Global Reach, Ravi Lochan Singh, told The PIE that he doesn’t believe the decision will have an impact on the Indian students who are determined to go to the UK, nor will it have any immediate gains for Canada as it is too late in the process cycle.
“Those who have to commence in the UK in two months have already applied and even received the offer letters (conditional or full) and will apply for the student visas. It might take a month or so but even that is already planned for.
“Also keep in mind is the fact that Canadian institutions are quite full for this year and most have stopped accepting fresh applications,” Singh added.