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Over 1,000 Education And Research Partnerships

International students looking for a world-class education should consider the UK. Its institutions offer academic excellence, cutting-edge research, state-of-the-art facilities, world-renowned universities and an international student environment.

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International students looking for a world-class education should consider the UK. Its institutions offer academic excellence, cutting-edge research, state-of-the-art facilities, world-renowned universities and an international student environment.

Why Choose The UK

The UK is the second most desired destination in the world for international higher education, with over 4,93,000 foreign students from over 200 countries, including around 21,000 from India. We are home to some of the most respected universities in the world: the UK hosts four of the world’s top ten universities as well as 30 of the world’s top 200.

A British education offers excellent value for money. Recognised by employers worldwide, British degree courses are more intense than in many other countries, with students receiving top-quality education in a shorter period, costing less overall than other destinations such as Australia, the US and Singapore. An HSBC study quotes that among the most common study destinations such as the US, Australia, Singapore and the UK, UK is the least expensive. Moreover, UK-educated international graduates achieve markedly higher average salaries in their home country: those returning to India achieve an average starting salary of £13,214 as opposed to £4,394. A recent QS global survey showed that graduates from Oxford and Cambridge were rated the most employable in the world, while London School of Economics, Imperial College London and the University of Manchester all made the top 10.

Where To Begin

When looking to study overseas, two of the biggest challenges that students face are selection of the right course and institution. The British Council is well equipped to address queries on UK education, living costs, financial support, visas as well as employability.

The British Council also hosts the Education UK Exhibition across India to help students find out more about study opportunities in the UK. At the exhibition, students meet representatives from participating UK universities and receive first-hand information on undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes in the UK, as well as on student life and culture.

Students can also search through 150,000 courses on the website, order prospectuses, contact institutions directly and find details of over 3,000 scholarships. Another beneficial step is to connect with the UK alumni to gain deeper understanding of the overall experience.

Education Opportunities & Financial Support
The UK and India already enjoy strong research and strategic partnership in education. The UK India Education and Research Initiative has promoted over 1,000 education and research partnerships that have the potential to deliver substantial, long-term prosperity benefits for both the UK and India. The programme has facilitated 25,000 exchanges of academicians, researchers, staff and students since 2006, creating lifelong links between the UK and India.

In addition, the UK launched the Newton Fund to promote economic development through science, research and innovation partnerships in 2014. Under this initiative, UK has allocated £50m over five years for jointly funded collaborations with India, with match funding from Indian partners.

A new programme has been launched, Generation UK-India, to support up to 25,000 young people from the UK gain skills and experience in India over the next five years. Generation UK-India will work with Indian institutions to create opportunities for young people in the UK to undertake cultural immersions placements, teaching partnerships and work placements.

A number of scholarships are offered to international students by the UK government. As part of the GREAT Britain Scholarships–India 2015, the British Council is offering GREAT scholarships worth over £1.5 million, with over 400 scholarships on offer in 2015-16.

Chevening is the British government’s flagship global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and partner organisations. The India programme is now world’s largest with a budget of £2.6 million for 2015-16. Commonwealth Scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries are offered for Master’s, PhD, and split-site (PhD) study in the UK. On average 75 Indian students are supported by the Commonwealth programme each year.

Visa, Work Permit and Employability

All students from outside of Europe must obtain a UK visa to come and study or work. There is no limit on the number of student visas that can be issued to Indians as long as they meet the requirements and have an offer to study in a UK educational institution on the UKVI sponsorship list. After China and the US, the UK issues more student visas to Indian nationals than any other country; nearly 9/10 students obtain visas.

Students who secure graduate level jobs, within four months of finishing their course (paying a salary of at least £20,800) can switch onto a work visa and stay in the UK for a further three years with the option to extend within four months of completing their course. Students can stay in the UK for a further 12 months if they secure an internship on government authorised exchange scheme. The Doctorate Extension Scheme allows completing PHD students to work and gain experience in their chosen field, or set up as an entrepreneur.

To conclude, the UK offers excellent opportunities, a vibrant and stimulating place to live and study, and great value for money. We remain committed not only to welcoming Indian students to the UK but also offering them an unparalleled environment to help accelerate their professional aspirations and growth.

The author, Andrew Soper, is minister counsellor (Political & Press), British High Commission

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 14-12-2015)

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