LONDON: A prominent UK think tank on Monday branded the British government’s decision to exclude India from a new expanded list of countries able to access easier student visa norms an “act of self harm” as it could further push Indian students away from British universities.
The Social Market Foundation (SMF) said the UK Home Office’s decision to leave Indian students off a list of 25 countries to be offered a relaxed application process in the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students was a missed opportunity.
“In the year that ended September 2010, Britain gave visas to 60,322 students from India. By September 2017, the figure had fallen to 14,081. During the same period, the number of Indians studying at US and Canadian universities has risen,” said SMF director James Kirkup. “Their omission risks pushing even more of them away from Britain.”