The number of student applicants from India increased from 4,470 in 2018 to 4,690 in January this year

STUDENTS from India account for the third largest group – outside those of EU countries – in UK universities, figures released today (7) show.

There has been a rise in the number of students from the south Asian country, and also more students of Asian origin have enrolled in British universities, according to figures from UCAS.

Analysis of figures shows that the number of applicants from India increased from 4,470 in 2018 to 4,690 in January this year.

China and Hong Kong are ahead of India with 15,880 and 5,100 applicants respectively, according to the university admissions service.

UCAS’ chief executive Clare Marchant said: “In this time of uncertainty, it’s welcome news to see more EU and international students wanting to come and study in the UK.”

“It is fantastic news for the UK that the number of Indian students coming to our country appears to be on the rise. We hope to see these numbers continue to grow over coming years,” said Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International.

“Indian students are a vital part of the international university communities that we are so proud of in the UK. Indian students bring diverse perspectives to our campuses, new ideas to our classrooms and essential skills to our workforce,” she said.

A record 63,690 students from outside the EU applied to start a course this autumn, an increase of nine per cent, and applicants from the EU has increased by one per cent, to 43,890.

There were also 60,660 students of Asian origin in 2019, up from 56,980 in 2018 and 55,770 in 2017.

The figures are based on analysis of undergraduate applications received at UCAS by the January 15 deadline.

Health secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: NEWS: Delighted to see new UCAS figures showing nursing applications up 4.5% on last year, no of EU applications holding steady, & record no of non-EU applicants.”

Last month, the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) had revealed that 28 per cent more Indian students enrolled on courses in the UK in the academic year 2017-18 than in 2016-17.

Meanwhile, Universities UK, the representative body for leading UK universities, said it will continue its campaign for a student visa regime that makes Britain more attractive as a destination for higher education.

It welcomed some of the UK government’s recent post-Brexit visa proposals to make it easier for students from outside the UK to remain in the country and look for work after they graduate.

Under the proposed changes, undergraduate and Masters students will be able to stay in the UK to look for work for six months after graduating. They will also have three months before graduating during which they can find work and change from a study visa to a work visa.

PhD students will be able to stay in the UK for a year to find work after graduating. They will also have three months before graduating during which they can find work and change from a study visa to a work visa.

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