Britain wants more Indian students: UK minister

Last Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 00:27

London: Indian students should not be misled by reports and shun British institutions, UK`s business minister said here on Wednesday asserting that no cap on the number of overseas students in the country.

"In some of the Indian vernacular newspapers the message has gone out that the British no longer want Indian students, which is wrong but that`s the message that has gone out," said UK business secretary Vince Cable.

"I just want to make absolutely clear, as far as the government is concerned we have no cap on the number of overseas students, we don`t propose to introduce one," he assured at the Global Universities Summit in Westminster.

The senior MP from the Liberal Democrat party has been an outspoken critic of some immigration policies of its coalition partner, the Conservative party, which he believes cause difficulties for foreign experts working in the country.

The event in London, organised by the University of Warwick, with representatives from 27 countries, is examining how universities can work with industry to drive economic growth.

University leaders have campaigned for overseas student numbers to be considered separately from the headline figures for net migration into the country, but the government has rejected this argument.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he wants to see net migration fall to the "tens of thousands" by 2015. Official figures released last week showed the number of foreign students studying in UK fell to 153,000 last year.

Cable has warned that there would be a substantial drop in Indian students coming to study at British institutions, adding that it would be "absurd" to see a cut in student numbers as a triumph.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency figures released earlier this year, students from India coming to study at UK schools and universities fell by 23.5 per cent last year, including a 28 per cent drop at postgraduate level.

India still remains the second most common country of origin for foreign students in Britain after China.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 00:27

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