Updated On 17 October 2022
Recent statements on the immigration of international students in UK of Suella Braverman, home minister of the UK, have sparked controversy in both countries.
The future of the India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) is uncertain in light of recent comments by Suella Braverman, a British politician of Indian descent. In an interview, Braverman expressed her concerns regarding Indian visa overstayers.
This is also straining the UK-Indian relationships, although there is still some goodwill. This blog aims to provide you with all the information you need to know on the topic.
Suella Braverman is a British barrister and politician who has been home secretary since September 2022. Sue-Ellen Cassiana "Suella" Braverman was born to Uma and Christie Fernandes, both of Indian origin. Her parents immigrated to Britain in the 1960s. Her father had roots in goa, while her mother was of Hindu-Tamil Mauritian descent.
She was named the UK's Secretary of State for the Home Department on September 6. She was assigned the charge of managing immigration and policing. She is known to be a staunch supporter of Brexit and the right-wing culture.
Braverman made some controversial comments about international students in UK. She said that she fears a trade deal with India will increase the migration rate of international students who study in UK. She added that Indians represent the largest group of Visa overstayers in the country. "Look at migration in this country – the largest group of people who overstay are Indian migrants," Braverman had said.
In conversation with 'The Spectator' weekly news magazine, "I have concerns about having an open borders migration policy with India because I don't think that's what people voted for with Brexit."
"We even reached an agreement with the Indian government last year to encourage and facilitate better cooperation in this regard. It has not necessarily worked very well," she added.
In addition to repeating remarks about dependents of international students 'piggybacking' on their student visas, Braverman earlier told The Sun on Sunday that "too many" low-skilled employees are arriving in the UK. "You can get a student visa and bring family members. I would say if you are coming here for an undergraduate degree, is it justifiable that you bring your family members? No," added Braverman at a meeting on October 4.
Following the statements, Delhi ministers are baffled. In the past few days, India has already shown displeasure towards the UK government by delaying the visa of British citizens planning to visit the country.
The free trade agreement (FTA) seems to be on the verge of collapsing following the statements.
The statements contradict the government's internal plans to attract many students to study there on UK student visas. The UK met its target of hosting 600,000 international students by 2030, a decade early. Universities UK International has said it should be seen as a "resounding success" for the government and something to be celebrated rather than a problem. The UK International Education Strategy updated in 2021 promised to "boost" the country's education exports to reach £35 billion annually by 2030.
Ruth Arnold, a senior advisor to Global external relations, highlighted how international students are "fundamental to the success of our universities and a key source of strength in the UK economy" following the statement of Braverman.
A senior UK government source told The Times that India's main request is mobility. It also includes financial services, banking and education.
The Home Minister made a statement. But what does it mean for the people residing there on UK study visas? India is one of the major countries where international students study in UK on UK student visas. Indians have also consistently topped the charts of highly skilled migrants who are issued visas to study in UK and later work in the country. There are many top choices for universities like Cambridge university London, Bristol university and the university of Birmingham are some of the top picks. Business schools in London see the most intake in the country of international students in UK.
118,000 Indian students received a UK student visa ending June 2022 – an 89 per cent increase from the previous year. According to a recent study, tuition fees collected by international students in UK made up 17% of all revenue received by UK universities in the 2020–21 academic year.
The country is the second favourite for students studying on UK student visas after the USA. It provides them with many opportunities to learn with the help of advanced technologies. The work hours permitted helps them manage their daily expenses.
After completing their degrees, many students studying on UK student visas eventually return to their home countries. International degrees provide hands-on experience and an intercultural study environment, which aids in practical learning. Latin Legum Magister, LLM in the UK attracts many international students to pursue their masters there.
Following the statements, it might be hard for the countries to conduct safe and resourceful immigration of international students. This might also affect many students' dreams to study in UK.
Meridean Overseas keeps you updated with all immigration and visa developments to make your study abroad process convenient.
The students who wish to enrol in the universities to achieve their dream of studying on a UK student visa may contact our expert counsellors at any branch of the Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our expert education counsellors will provide you with the best support and guidance for admission to European Universities. For more information or any queries, you mail us at email@example.com or call us at 1800-1230-00011.