UK's migration policy won't affect genuine students: UK diplomat
CHENNAI June 20: The recent changes in the UK's migration policy won't affect genuine students who will find the entry process no tougher than earlier, say British diplomats.
South Asia regional director of the UK Border Agency Thomas Greig said on Monday , "we haven't made significant changes when it comes to students applying to UK universities . We have placed further restrictions on students applying to private colleges because of incidence of fraud ." He said rules were restructured to ensure that those coming to study in the UK did only that .
Greig said that while applications from India , especially the south, were credible ,there had been a few instances when people were misled — they believed they were coming to the UK to study but were compelled to work when this was not their intention . He said officials visited private colleges and tried to assess whether they did what they claimed they were doing .
British deputy high commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis said the global student market was very competitive , but that the UK had some natural advantages like English as the national language , which almost all who apply to foreign universities from India understand , and a common history . "But we can't be complacent on this and we want our universities to be driving much more . We want to be clear about why Indian students should have UK on their radar ." Last year , the British high commission issued 30 ,000 student visas in India . Officials said that 75% of those who applied were successful.
While coming up with stringent norms for approving student visas , the UK also introduced a new visa route for graduate entrepreneurs . "This will allow students who have world class innovative ideas to stay in the UK and develop their business ," said a deputy high commission press release .
The diplomats reaffirmed that UK welcomes Indian visitors , students , highly skilled workers and business people . Last year the British high commission issued 57,000 business visitor visas in India. This equates to 95 % of those who applied for one.
The diplomats said they had a plan to ensure a satisfactory visit to the UK to anyone with a ticket to the Olympic Games this year .