India now largest recipient of UK govt’s student scholarship, beats China
Posted on January 29, 2015
PUDUCHERRY: The United Kingdom government would quadruple its global scholarship funding for Indian students over the next two years making India the largest recipient in the world, replacing China, said minister counsellor (political and press), British High Commission, Andrew Soper.
Soper and British Council director (South India) Mei-kwei Barker were in Puducherry to take part in a seminar on January 21 as a part of the Great Britain campaign to enlighten students, academicians and territorial officials on opportunities to pursue higher education in the UK. Soper said the UK government’s funding ( Chevening scholarships) for Indian students, which was 600,000 pounds (approximately Rs 5 crore) in 2013-14, rose to 1.6 million pounds (approximately Rs 15 crore) in 2014-15 and would touch 2.4 million pounds (approx Rs 22.5 crore) by the end of 2015-16 financial year.
Chevening is the UK government’s fully-funded scholarship for one year master’s degree for bright graduates and for short-term programmes for outstanding mid-career professionals. Soper pointed out that the UK extended 750 scholarship programmes worth 1.51 million pounds (roughly Rs 15 crore) for India in the last two years. The British government started focusing on emerging economies in the world, including India, Brazil, Turkey and Mexico apart from China, to extend scholarships to bright students in an effort to invite them to pursue higher education in the UK.
Basic sciences, engineering, medicine, law and business were some of the most-sought after programmes by the international students, he said. After successful completion of the courses the international students can stay on to work in UK for three years. The duration can be extended for another three years, he said. Mei-kwei Barker said 2.5 lakh Indians have studied in the UK over the last decade. “We are keen to encourage greater student mobility and exchange between India and the UK and to build a deeper relationship,” she said.
Soper added that the research activities jointly funded by the UK and Indian institutions, which was less than one million pounds (approx Rs 9.35 crore) three years ago, has crossed 150 million pounds (Rs 1,400 crore) this year. The British Council has also announced a new programme, ‘Generation UK’, which aims to bring up to 25,000 UK students to India over the next five years. The objective is to promote India as a destination among the UK youth to study and gain work experience to develop employability skills.
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