London: The new student visa system in Britain, that was introduced to prevent abuse, has led to a decline in the number of students coming from India, but the overall number of international students has not changed, according to a Home Office minister.
"I accept there has been a decline in the number of students coming from India," Home Office minister of state Lord Henley said.
During a debate in the House of Lords yesterday, Labour peer Lord Judd has asked Lord Henley if he had looked at the evidence of what has happened to the number of students coming from India.
"The increase in the number of students coming from other parts of south-east Asia easily compensates for the decline from India," Lord Henley said.
"We are not seeing a decline in the overall number of students coming to universities. What we are seeing is a decline in the numbers of those who were coming here allegedly to study but using that as a way of getting round the immigration system," he said yesterday.
Stating that the controversial changes made to the student visa system were "quite right", the minister said "I am proud of it, and there has been no damage to United Kingdom universities as a result".
Lord Henley said that the changes were intended to "reform the student visa route".