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UK govt increases scholarships to attract Indian students

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Kolkata: The number of Indian students has decreased in the last few years in the UK following a clamp down on bogus colleges, but the British government is wooing students by increasing scholarships, a British High Commission official said on Friday.

“If you compare the figures with what was there 3-4 years ago, the numbers have come down. It is because we clamped down heavily on bogus colleges. Now we are maintaining excellence and only bona-fide institutes are left,” Andrew Soper, Minister Counsellor (Political and Press) of the British High Commission told reporters here.

He said now the inflow of students from India had stabilised and they were expecting an increase gradually.

On scholarship count, Soper said under the ‘Great Britain’ campaign they were offering 59 undergraduate and 232 postgraduate scholarships across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the last couple of years, the number of scholarships under their flagship Chevening program had increased four-fold to Rs 25 crore now.

The visa process was also eased with every 9 out of 10 students getting it. “If you have got an admission into a UK university you will get a visa,” the official said.

Some of the most popular courses for Indians include management studies and engineering.

British Council India’s Director Rob Lynes said Indians had received over Rs 40 crore worth of scholarships this year.

At present, about 20,000 Indian students were studying in different varsities of the UK. However in 2013, the figure was around 24,000.

As part of exchange programs, about 1,000 UK students were studying in India, Lynes said.

PTI

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