Indians seek admission to Scottish universities

June 5th, 2009 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Promising jobs with partnering industries, Scottish universities have managed to triple the number of Indian students heading there for higher education in the last five years, university representatives said here Friday.
“Enrolment in Scottish universities by Indian students has tripled over the last five years,” said Caroline Boddie, senior international officer for southern and central Asia at the University of Glasgow.

Boddie was addressing a press conference organised by Education UK-Scotland here Friday.

According to the British Council, the latest figures show that there are 3,625 students from India studying at the higher education level in Scotland’s universities.

This accounts for nearly 13 percent of all Indian students studying in the United Kingdom.

Indian students have started taking a liking to Scotland and its educational institutions mainly because of the high quality research opportunities for post-graduate researchers and guaranteed job opportunities, said officials from four Scottish universities - Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee and West of Scotland.

“We have industry partnerships. What does that mean for Indian students? Jobs…Even with recession, companies are still recruiting the same number of graduates. They’re a little more conscious about firing people as when they did last time, the economy picked up and they found out that they were understaffed,” Boddie pointed out.

One scheme that encouraged this influx of Indian students is the ‘Fresh Talent Scheme’ in 2005 by the Scottish government which allowed foreigners to apply for a post-study work visa that allows them to work for two years after graduation.

Most Indian students apply for post-graduate degrees including business, management, finance, and economics at Scottish universities.

“They usually go for business and management degrees, but there’s been a recent change. There is a growing realisation among Indians that there are more degrees out there,” said Thomas Rattray, commercial director of University of Dundee.

Many Scottish universities have also developed partnerships with Indian universities. University of Glasgow created a joint degree in management with Gilam University in Visakapatnam, Andra Pradesh.

For Pooja Kalra, a 1999 alumni of Glasgow University, the international exposure she gained improved her job prospects.

“If you go to Scotland, you have international exposure so when you come to your own country, you have better job prospects,” Kalra told IANS.

The Scottish government also offers scholarships to attract more international students.

The Saltire scholarship gives 200 post-graduate students from Canada, China, India and the US a hefty 2,000 pounds for a one-year post-graduate course. As many as 50 scholarships are for Indians.

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