With Travel Rules Being Eased, Indian Students See Record Entries To UK Universities

A record number of 3,200 students from India have applied to and been accepted in UK universities and higher education through the country’s centralised application system in 2021. This has marked an increase of 19 per cent over the previous year. 

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) acceptance figures came days after India moved to the Amber list from the Red List COVID-19 travel ban. Students travelling to the UK will no longer have to undergo quarantine in a government-managed facility. Instead, they can undergo quarantine at a location of their choice, such as their university accommodation or the home of a friend or family. 

“We know India being moved from the Red to Amber list will be a significant and welcome move for those Indian students due to travel to the UK soon. Those students should stay in touch with their university and be aware of the latest procedure for amber list arrivals to ensure a smooth arrival,” said Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, which represents over 140 universities. 

“UK universities are preparing to give a warm welcome to Indian students this autumn. Students have shown a great amount of patience and resilience in sticking with their plans to study overseas, and we look forward to welcoming them and welcoming them back to our campuses and university communities,” she added. 

All Amber List arrivals will be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test before travelling. Further, they will also have to take a Covid test on the second and eighth days of their quarantine. 

“We welcome the news that for one of our largest international markets, India has been moved from the UK’s Red to Amber List,” said Kerry Law, Chief Marketing & Engagement Officer at the University of Leicester. The University of Leicester has a large population of Indian students. 

“To ensure we welcome students and give them a great experience as we have extended our welcome by an additional week and have developed online transition support for all new starters,” she further said. 

The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK had raised concerns over Indian students having to pay additional compulsory hotel quarantine costs of 1,750 pounds under the Red List, which prompted Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla to set aside Rs 10 crores to assist the students. Poonawalla had confirmed that he has set aside Rs 10 crore to support students travelling abroad for studies. Some countries have still not approved Covishield as an acceptable vaccine to enter without being quarantined.   

“We are absolutely thrilled to see the numbers of Indian students accepted onto courses via UCAS go up by nearly a fifth as part of the overall significant increase in the numbers choosing to come to the UK to study,” said NISAU UK Chairperson Sanam Arora. 

“The UK now offers a wonderful proposition for Indian students – world-class education, a great post-study work offer, and through NISAU a home away from home for Indian students, which I can proudly say is a distinct offering for Indians going abroad to study,” she added. 

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