Indian students opt for STEM, sustainability, and creative industry courses in the UK..Please visit OM INTERNATIONAL for more informations.

 Indian students opt for STEM, sustainability, and creative industry courses in the UK.

Indian students are increasingly opting for STEM courses, sustainability studies, and the creative industry instead of traditional business courses in the UK, according to Alison Barrett, the British Council's Director for India. The shift is reflected in the British Council's announcement of grants for industry-academia partnerships in STEM and sustainability.

Indian students prefer to study courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), sustainability studies and the creative industry instead of the traditionally opted-for business courses in the UK, said Alison Barrett British Council’s Director for India.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the UK hosted more than 1,26,000 students from India in 2022.


Speaking to ET on the sidelines of the recent India-UK Higher Education Conference, Barrett said, “We’ve seen a shift in recent times. Typically, business courses were very popular. We’re seeing a shift towards STEM courses. Computer science, AI, sustainability, and the creative industry are other courses attracting students from India

The British Council announced 12 new and 2 top-up grants worth £500k for industry-academia partnerships across India and the UK as part of its Going Global Partnerships programme at the conference. Most of the grants were in the STEM and sustainability sector which reflects a concerted effort on the part of the British government to promote innovation in these fields.

Highlighting the potential that India-UK collaborations can have in the fields of academia and industry for the world, Barrett pointed to the development of Covishield and the massive global outreach and benefits that ensued.

UK’s international education champion Sir Steve Smith, said, “31 universities from the UK are meeting their counterparts here in India as part of our delegation. The idea is to explore how we can develop transnational education opportunities in India.”

Smith said, “We’ve not come here with a one-size-fits-all model. This time, it’s about working with different state governments to look at their needs.”

Acknowledging the UK-India roadmap and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual recognition of academic qualifications, signed last year, for creating policy certainty, he said, “A university in the UK wanting to link with a university here now knows the terms of trade. You know now that if you do a joint degree, how it will be recognised here. ..

The MoU is instrumental in removing a major barrier in the relationships that are being developed between the universities of the two countries because the degrees granted in either one of the countries will be acknowledged by the other now.

Smith credits the national quality assurance system and a relatively lax visa regime that allows students to stay back in search of employment to be the foremost pull factors attracting Indian students to the UK.

He said, "We have a national quality assurance system, which makes sure that whatever a student studies, the quality of education is very high. The UK also has a very competitive visa offer. You can stay for 2 or 3 years if you have done your master's or PhD without having a job, to find work. Many students take advantage of that, last year 100,000 students stayed on after finishing their degrees to work and gain experience in the UK."

The British government has revealed its plan to increase visa fees, which will take effect on October 4th. Under the new fee structure, a visit visa for stays of fewer than six months will incur an additional charge of GBP 15. This change will also affect student visas, making them GBP 127 more expensive for applicants from various countries, including India. The adjustments come after legislation was presented in Parliament last Friday.

The UK Home Office explained that these modifications will result in the cost of a visit visa for stays of less than six months rising to GBP 115. Additionally, the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the UK will increase to GBP 490, aligning with the amount charged for in-country applications.

This decision follows the announcement by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in July, where he stated that fees and health surcharges paid by visa applicants to support the UK's state-funded National Health Service (NHS) would increase significantly to accommodate public sector wage increases.

Sunak mentioned, "We are going to increase the charges that we have for migrants who are coming to this country when they apply for visas and indeed something called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS."

The Home Office has indicated a 15 percent rise in the cost of most work and visit visas, with priority visas, study visas, and certificates of sponsorship facing an increase of at least 20 percent.

The Home Office justified these changes, explaining, "Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office's ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system. Careful consideration is given when setting fees to help reduce the funding contribution from British taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide a service that remains attractive to those wishing to work in the UK and support broader prosperity for all."

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