UK may soon introduce a new visa only for Indian students which will allow them to work for two years after passing out of a British university.
In what is great news for Indian students planning to study in the UK, London's charismatic mayor Boris Johnson, who is pitted to be the Prime Minister David Cameron's successor will propose to the government on Tuesday the introduction of a Commonwealth work visa.
The second proposal to be floated by Johnson will be a special work visa for graduates in science, technology, engineering and math’s (STEM) for up to two years. Although not restricted to nationality, this would be attractive to Indian students for whom STEM degrees are popular.
Indian students in London were the third largest revenue generator for the city having contributed a whopping £130 million in 2014. Johnson's recent analysis had found that Indian students paid 56 million pounds in fees and nearly 74 million pounds in living costs - the money creating and supporting 1643 jobs.
But visa changes and the scrapping of the Post Study Work Visa in 2012 which gave non-EU students the right to remain in the UK for two years after graduation has resulted in a massive dip in Indian students going to British universities to study. Indian students coming to London and the rest of the UK have approximately halved over the last five years.
Professor David Gann, vice-president of Imperial College said "Indian students contribute immeasurably to the intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of London. When they come to the capital, great things happen - for the UK, India and the world. Almost every day I meet innovative Indian students who are helping solve global challenges and create new opportunities: from antibiotic resistance and climate change to fintech and personalized medicine. We should be clear: London's world-class universities' doors are wide open to India's brightest students".
Professor David Sadler, vice principal (International) of Queen Mary University of London added "Either of the policy options set out by the Mayor, if adopted, would be a step in the right direction to begin to address the decline in Indian students enrolling at many of London's universities. In offering students opportunity to gain some relevant work experience in the UK post-graduation, they would help enable us to remain attractive to prospective students and their parents in the face of ever increasing competition for the brightest students globally".