STUDY visa applications from India rose by 42 per cent to 21,000, in the year to June, government data showed on Thursday (22).
Official figures added that a record number of people, including the Indians, applied for visas to study at British universities.
The number of people who come to work in the UK declined to the lowest level since 2013.
About 218,000 migrants arrived to study and 214,000 to work during the first half of 2019.
Sue Edwards, a spokeswoman for Destination for Education, a campaign group helping universities to recruit foreign students, was quoted by The Times: “The figures show the importance of the government taking a positive approach towards international students. International student levels are at their highest since 2011.
“It can’t be a coincidence that this has happened just as the government has decided to change its tone on international students and see them for what they are: talented and entrepreneurial people that make a huge contribution to the UK’s economy.”
Edwards called on the government authorities to introduce a post-study work visa for up to 12 months to make the UK more attractive to students from various parts of the country.
Meanwhile, overall net migration to Britain, the difference between those arriving and those leaving the country, was estimated at 226,000 in the last financial year, down 15,000.
Net migration from the European Union (EU) was at 59,000, less than a third of the peak before the EU referendum, and the number from the rest of the world was 219,000.