Scotland may reintroduce Post Study Work Visas for Indian Students

Scotland may reintroduce Post Study Work Visas for Indian Students

Posted on 26 Jun 2014 Views ( 3223 )

EDINBURGH (SCOTLAND): Scotland has announced that it will bring back post study work visa for Indian students if it becomes an independent nation from United Kingdom in the referendum scheduled for September.

The voting on September 18th will decide whether Scotland wants to be an independent nation or not.

In a recent interview, Scotland's minister for external affairs and international development Humza Yusuf said Scotland will allow Indian students to work at least for two years after they finish their education degree in Scotland.

Yusuf told that ever since UK changed its immigration policy and ended its post-study work route for international students, Scotland has experienced huge decline in Indian students enrolling to Scottish universities.

Now, more than 2000 Indian students are studying across Scotland. By 2024, it is expected that there will be 3.85 million International students where India along with China will contribute 35%.

With 3.76 lakh Indian students are studying in various foreign Universities.

Yusuf told "India's relationship with Scotland dated back to 1870s and it's a friendship we greatly value. Infact if the referendum vote for Scotland's independence, Delhi will be one of the first places us will open our embassy. We have named India as our strategic priority country. The embassy will work to strengthen India's ties in promoting trade and culture".

He added "Education will be the key area of India and an independent Scotland's relationship. UK’s immigration laws have damaged its relationship with India. Hence we will have different immigration laws which make sense and a different system to UK. We will re-launch post study work visa in Scotland for Indian students. Before UK laws changed, it was for two years. We are presently talking to universities in Scotland on whether we stick with that or increase it further".

"Scotland has seen a massive fall in Indian students coming here to study just because of the new UK regulations. What is the point of attracting the best and brightest students to Scotland to study and not reap its benefits by asking them to leave immediately? We will allow Indian students to stay and work after getting their degree," Yusuf added.

Director of Universities Scotland said earlier, "It is deeply worrying to see such steep declines in students from India. These are important markets for Scottish higher education and countries with which we have long-standing academic relationships. It's very important that the message gets out to these countries that international students are welcome in Scotland. This is not the perception given out by hardline rhetoric from parts of the UK government."

While the tuition fee is free for EU students at Scottish universities, non EU students typically pay fees of between £10,000 and £20,000 a year, depending on their course. Those studying for medical degrees can pay around £30,000 a year.

A study by Strathclyde University published in 2009 estimated that international students contribute £188 million to universities in Scotland directly with a further £321m to the wider Scottish economy.