The number of Indian students studying for their undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Wales increased by more than 200 per cent last year – higher growth than any other region in the United Kingdom. There are currently 18 million students from India studying worldwide, travelling, making new friends, and learning new languages – while receiving a world-class education. And more than 55,000 are currently residing in the United Kingdom.
In 2019, the UK Government introduced the Graduate Immigration Route as a way to retain the brightest and the best international students to contribute to society and the economy after graduation under the points-based immigration system. Students completing an undergraduate or master’s degree can apply to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK for two years. Since its launch, there has been a natural rise in applications to study across the UK.
Commenting on the spike in Indian students, India Market Development Manager for Study in Wales Harish Lokhun said: “Wales, as a nation, offers beautiful beaches, lush landscapes and affordable living. Universities in Wales have some of the lowest accommodation costs in the UK – so there is something for everyone. Any student who chooses to study in Wales can benefit from engagement with academics, research, and innovation.”
“The announcement of the Graduation Immigration Route in 2019 has seen a rise in applications from India for students seeking to study in the UK and this has demonstrated, that despite a global pandemic, there is a desire to study in the UK. Students who study in Wales will feel safe throughout their time here and will welcome a break from the traffic and busy cities of India – many students have also commented on how welcome they feel.” added Harish Lokhun.
To support Indian students, Welsh universities are building new partnerships with the higher education sector in Telangana. The partnerships have been brokered by Universities Wales and the British Council in Wales and India. Global Wales, the Welsh international higher education partnership, and the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural exchange, are working with Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) to reform the curriculum in its higher education institutions. Over three years a new curriculum reform pilot will be extended to over 1,000 colleges, positively impacting more than 800,000 learners and will help Telangana develop the internationalisation of its higher education sector.
An Indian student from Hyderabad, Dattasai Beeram, decided to make the move to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. After researching postgraduate opportunities across the world, Dattasai initially hoped to move to the United States to continue his education – but the 24-year-old relocated to Wales after realising that it was far more affordable for a young person.
Dattasai Beeram, who is studying a Master’s degree in International Public Relations, said: “Wales is a great option for study. Cardiff is a very affordable city, which is what drew me to it when making my decision. The people are also very welcoming. I have never met such a diverse group of people before. It’s incredible!”
Another student from India, Vikash Madhav, from Telangana also moved to Wales earlier this year to study an MSc in Cyber Security at Cardiff University. Aged 20, the decision to study abroad and leave Telangana was initially daunting for Vikash – but soon after, he met many like-minded students and settled down quickly. Vikash was also eligible for the Study in Wales postgraduate scholarship and received £5,000, approx., INR – 4,18,000 towards tuition fees.
Vikash – who has become a student ambassador for prospective students – said: “Everyone I meet in Cardiff is also a student – I feel very well supported by the student community. The lecturers are all so professional, and the course structure is excellent. The methods of learning are fantastic in Wales – classes aren’t as mechanical as those I experienced in India; they’re very interactive.”
Future opportunities look bright for Vikash who feels that studying in Wales will set him apart from his peers. He would encourage anyone thinking about studying here to bring an umbrella, lots of winter clothing and to research the wonderful opportunities that are available in Wales.