While the UK government, in the shape of David Cameron, has been fighting to control immigration to the UK it seems as though he has had a major change of heart with regards to Indian students. Today marks the start of a major campaign by the UK government to capture the hearts and minds of Indian residents in the UK and those from overseas.
Citing the “special relationship” between the UK and India it seems that David Cameron is now looking overseas to build up non-European trade relations ahead of the EU referendum in 2017.
Is this a change in the U.K.’s immigration policy?
The UK government has confirmed that Indian students who decide to further their education in the UK will be allowed to stay in the UK for as long as they wish after leaving university. This is most certainly a very different approach to that which hit the headlines just a few months ago amid rumours that the UK government, and indeed the Conservative party, is now targeting the expat community and various ethnic groups in the UK.
The reality is there has always been a very strong relationship between the UK and India which goes back many years. We have seen a number of business ventures formed between Indian and UK companies, we have seen a growing Indian population within the UK and it still remains a very popular destination for those looking outside of India.
Will this policy work?
In many ways this policy is very similar to that introduced by the Australian government which effectively encouraged overseas students into the country and then used their growing skills to maximise the potential of the economy. The UK has been a major player in the financial sector for many years, it has a growing technology industry and IT has always been paramount in the thoughts and minds of governments and businesses going forward. As a consequence, an increase in the number of skilled workers across the UK, which includes overseas students who have decided to stay in the UK, can only help the economy going forward.
Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “Australia’s bid to attract more students from overseas is succeeding with a new report showing that higher Education is contributing significantly to the country’s economic prosperity. It is the country’s largest service export and plays a leading role in the economies of Australia’s most populous states of Victoria and New South Wales.”
The program will encourage those who have a basic English qualification and have been promised a place at a UK further education facility to come to the country. Whether or not we will see an increase in the relatively large number of Indian students looking at the UK remains to be seen because there has for some time now been great interest from this particular area of the world.
Education, education, education
There is every chance that UK students may well wish to further their own education in later years and indeed a reciprocal arrangement with Indian education facilities is likely to be promoted. The closer the ties between the UK government, the UK economy and their Indian counterparts, the stronger the UK economy will be going forward. It is no secret that India has one of the largest populations in the world, one of the strongest economies and indeed is seen by many as one of the top performing economies in the short, medium and longer term. If the UK government can partner up with Indian counterparts in the short term and create a longer term relationship, the benefits could be enormous!
There is no doubt that David Cameron is taking a very similar approach to that introduced by the Australian government with regards to oversee students in Australia. This has proved to be very beneficial for the Australian population as well as the Australian economy and with a proven track record it is perhaps no surprise that David Cameron is looking to further promote the UK’s already strong ties with India.
It will be interesting to see how this ever emerging Indian skilled workforce fits into the UK economy and the UK employment sector. We have seen some major changes in the UK business arena over the last few years with information technology now leading the way. Manufacturing has been under pressure for some time, some of the larger industries of years gone by such as the automotive sector have been weakened but UK-based technology success stories such as Autonomy have cast a very different light upon the future make-up of the UK economy.