UK election results: SNP’s thumping victory is good news for Indian students
Posted on May 11, 2015
LONDON: The Scottish National Party (SNP) tsunami that rocked British politics on Friday will bring a loud cheer among Indian students wanting to study in Britain.
Calling India a priority country, SNP had announced in its election manifesto that getting Indian students back into Scottish university campuses was its top agenda.
After recording a landslide victory at the general elections on Friday, wiping out Labour Party from Scotland and winning 55 of the 58 seats – 50 seats more than the previous election, the Scottish MPs are bound to push through the legislation.
Labour is now left with just one MP in Scotland – losing 40 seats, while the Liberal Democrats lost 10 seats.
SNP which is now the third largest party in the UK has benefited greatly from the Indian vote thanks to the Indian Sikh population. The majority of the Indian diaspora in UK are Sikhs and the Sikh Federation had openly announced its support for the SNP.
Data had shown that after the Conservative Party came into power in 2010 and the junked the post study work visa, new entrants to Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from India fell by 63% between 2010-11 and 2013-14.
SNP said that Scotland’s universities experienced a “substantial, cumulative decline in enrollment of students from key overseas markets”.
SNP feels that the current four months given to international students at the end of their studies is insufficient time for most to find skilled employment and to transition to a Tier 2 visa.
SNP supremo Nicola Sturgeon said “In comparison to UK, key competitor countries who offer more attractive post study work opportunities have seen a rise in their numbers of international students. The UK’s current post study work offer is not sufficient to meet the needs of Scottish employers and impacts on the education sector”.
Sturgeon added “As a priority, we will seek the reintroduction of the post study work visa, so that those we have helped educate are able, if they so choose, to make a contribution to our economy. There is clear support across business and education in Scotland for the reintroduction of a post study work scheme. It would assist in attracting international students to Scotland, who add immeasurable benefit to the culture and academic life of Scottish universities but also contribute financially through their fees and spending in local economies”.
By 2024, one in every three outbound higher education students across the globe is expected to be from India and China. By 2024, it is expected that there will be 3.85 million outbound mobile higher education students globally. India and China will contribute 35% of global growth during this period. Indian students will be the second highest chunk with 3.76 lakh of them travelling to enroll in foreign universities.
Calling their performance in the elections, including winning all seven seats in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city “an historic watershed,” Sturgeon declared “The political firmament, the tectonic plates in Scottish politics have shifted. What we are seeing is a historic watershed. Whatever the government is that emerges at Westminster, they cannot ignore what has happened in Scotland”.
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