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Learn about courses, univs, scholarships at Study UK fair: Debanjan Chakrabarti of British Council

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Forty-two British universities will be attending the Study UK Virtual Program on December 4

Four of the world’s top 10 universities are from the UK, according to the QS World University Rankings 2022

More and more Indian students have started applying to UK universities for postgraduate studies despite the ever-changing travel situation due to the pandemic. Ahead of the virtual Study UK fair, Dipangan Chakrabarti, Director of East and North East India, British Council, tells Edograph why the UK remains the number one destination for international students.

edograph: What is the current situation regarding the pandemic and student applications for postgraduate studies in the UK?

Dibangan Chakrabarti: No doubt it is a complex scenario, but the UK remains a very attractive destination for Indian students. Despite the pandemic, student numbers from India have skyrocketed. The UK aims to enable high-quality education internationally, and this has not changed things in regards to India. According to recent data from the UK Home Office, 56,093 visas for Indian students were issued by the UK between April 2020 and March 2021, an increase of 13% over the previous year.

In terms of Indian students studying in the UK, they remain one of the largest international student communities on British university campuses. This, of course, does not take away from the complexities of the situation on the ground, which varies across regions of the UK. But the rising numbers show the confidence of Indian students and their parents in the UK education system.

What is the current process that Indian students must follow to go to the UK?

Capital: It’s a constantly changing situation. The UK operates a ‘vaccination status system’ for international arrivals. Travel rules from countries and territories not included in the Red List will depend on your vaccination status.

The rules vary from region to region in the UK. It is best to consult the GOV.UK travel advisory for the most up-to-date information.

Currently what are the popular universities and courses in the UK?

Capital: According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the most popular courses for international students in the UK are Business and Management Studies, Engineering, Technology, Social Studies, and subjects related to Medicine, Creative Arts and Design, Biological Sciences, Law and Computer Science.

For Indian students, popular undergraduate and graduate subjects continue to be in business and engineering but there is a growing interest in subjects such as social sciences, law, architecture, construction and planning. Indians are among the largest groups of international students in the UK. Moreover, the visa issuance rate for Indian students is 96%, which is well above the global average.

Any suggestions when it comes to choosing between scholarships and choosing the best schools?

Capital: My advice is to attend the 4th edition of the ‘Virtual UK Study Fair’ on the 4th of December. Students can interact with many university representatives and gather insights into study opportunities in the UK, including courses, universities and scholarship offers along with the application processes and eligibility criteria. The gallery also provides information on visas, life in the UK and housing, as well as job prospects. Prospective students will be able to consult with representatives of 42 UK universities, including 12 prestigious institutions of the Russell Group. The exhibition will also provide attendees with an interface with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) officials to clear any doubts about the current process for obtaining a student visa.

What are the obvious advantages for Indian students going to UK compared to other countries?

Capital: I think one of the biggest advantages is the graduation track, which allows most students to work at the appropriate level for 2 years (and for 3 years for those who complete a Ph.D.). Graduates of British universities are among the most employable universities in the world. Apart from global learning, the network one builds internationally is very strong and the pastoral care (welfare and welfare) systems in place for international students at British universities are impressive. One is very well taken care of, something my wife (Dr Depneta Chakravarty, great academic) and I can vouch for personally, having tried it and benefited from it early in our career. I think it is fair to say that the world comes to study in the UK, and this gives students from India an unparalleled international perspective.

UK universities offer a very welcoming and positive experience to all international students, be it cultural, sports, music, theater and many more. Away from the academics, there are a lot of things that a student from India and all international students can do and engage in. So I think it’s a win-win for everyone from every perspective. And if we talk about academic excellence, four of the top 10 universities in the world are from the UK, according to the QS World University Rankings 2022. The UK education sector significantly outstrips its weight when it comes to international education.

Last updated on November 29, 2021

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