Prof Anthony Forster, British Political Scientist and Vice-Chancellor of University of Essex (UoE)
UK universities are currently calling for a two year post-study work visa to be offered for the students who are visiting the nation for higher studies. According to Prof Anthony Forster, British Political Scientist and Vice-Chancellor of University of Essex (UoE), they are optimistic that the Government is listening to the demand of the universities. Prof Forster also told NDTV ‘India will be an even more important partner for the UK after Brexit’ while mentioning that the visas for Indian nationals went up significantly and they received more visas to work in the UK than every other country in the world combined.
He said universities around the world are increasingly looking to build links internationally. “At Essex we’re looking to establish multifaceted links with universities around the world, including India, which shares our values,” he added.
While talking about Brexit, he said: “The key issues for the UK government to address as Brexit approaches is establishing a new trade agreement with India, a new work visa regime, an extension of post study work visas for students, and closer cultural and education links”.
NDTV talked to Prof Forster regarding higher education in general and UK education in particular.
Here is what he shared with us:
How is Brexit affecting the education and career prospects of Indians?
Visas which allow Indian students to work for a period after completing their studies are really important to them and something which makes the UK a very attractive higher education destination.
We’re part of a pilot offering post-study work visas so we’re delighted the Government is proposing to extend this in its latest proposals for post-Brexit rules for migrants.
We’re now calling, alongside other UK universities, for a two year post-study work visa to be offered. We’re working with other universities to lobby for this to happen and we’re optimistic the UK Government is listening to us.
I am sure India will be an even more important partner for the UK after Brexit. We’ve seen ahead of Brexit skilled (Tier 2) visas allowing international workers to live and work in the UK increased 15% between 2017 and 2018. Visas for Indian nationals went up significantly and they received more visas to work in the UK than every other country in the world combined.
We’ve also seen a significant increase in Indian students studying at UK institutions, with numbers rising to 18,735, a 33% increase, with 94% of all student visa applications approved.
The key issues for the UK government to address as Brexit approaches is establishing a new trade agreement with India, a new work visa regime, an extension of post study work visas for students, and closer cultural and education links.
Would you please tell our readers on how to get to Essex (from the application process to admission)?
We have a regional office based in New Delhi and our team is always happy to deal with any questions from anyone interested in studying at Essex. Applicants can find out more about our team’s events on our India Facebook page and you can arrange to meet someone from our India Regional Office by emailing [email protected]
If you’re applying for one of our undergraduate courses you apply online through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out all about our courses on our website.
If you are applying for a postgraduate course you apply directly to us online and the application process should take about 20 minutes. Again you can find out about our courses on our website (https://www.essex.ac.uk/ ).
We support our Indian students and applicants throughout the immigration and visa process.
Indian students need to apply under Tier 4 of the UK Government’s Points Based Immigration System. The student visa pilot we’re part of streamlines the process for Indian Masters students wanting to study in the UK.
If you don’t feel like you are ready for university-level study in the UK, we also offer a range of Foundation Programmes for undergraduate and postgraduate level which can lead to entry to our Essex degree programmes at University of Essex International College based on our Colchester Campus.
Can you detail the key programs on offer for Indian student at UoE?
We’ve just added an integrated one year work placement into our Masters degrees in data science, curating, economics, accounting and banking and commercial and business law. It is proving really popular with Indian applicants and we’re seeing around 50% of all our applications from India linked to these new programmes.
We’ve seen strong growth across all our courses for the past two years including our peaks of excellence in the social sciences and data analytics.
At undergraduate level the most popular choices are economics, Essex Business School courses including business management, psychology and computer science.
At postgraduate level Indian students are really interested in data science, law, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, psychology, international relations and our MBA.
Indian applicants are very interested in data science related course while we’re also developing attractive new courses like our BEng Mechatronic Systems which will allow students to develop the sophisticated intelligent systems we are so reliant on in the modern world.
Any scholarships available for Indian students in UoE?
Our Indian sub-continent Regional Scholarship scheme offers GBP 4,000 scholarships to eligible undergraduate students from India. Our Academic Excellence International Masters Scholarship scheme offers GBP 3-5,000 tuition fee discounts to high achieving masters students from India.
We also regularly welcome students who have secured scholarships through other programmes including Chevening, UK STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Scholarships which was launched in December 2018 for female applicants in STEM areas, the Commonwealth Masters Scholarships, the UK India Education Research Initiative (UKERI), the Newton-Bhabha Fund and the British Council’s GREAT Scholarships.
Any insights on current global education trends?
Universities around the world are increasingly looking to build links internationally.
At Essex we’re looking to establish multifaceted links with universities around the world, including India, which share our values.
The benefits these international networks can offer include linking up with like-minded institutions, researchers and student communities; allowing universities to offer multinational educational experiences to students; building multinational research teams; and opening up funding opportunities.
So far we’ve successfully developed joint degree programmes and collaborations in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. We now want to look to extend our global coverage by developing our partnerships in India.