Indian students choosing the UK as their higher education destination have started registering a fall, with over 21,000 fewer Master's degree applicants than the previous year being registered in official statistics released in London on Thursday.

According to UK Home Office data based on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, there was a 16 per cent drop in Indian student applicants over the year ending December 2023 in an overall 10 per cent fall in net migration compared to 2022.

While the figures will come as a welcome sign for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who has made curbing

migration one of his key planks for a general election now set for July 4, the student visa figures will worry universities who rely on overseas student fees.

“There were 116,455 sponsored study visa grants to main applicants that are Indian nationals in the year ending March 2024, (26 per cent of the total), 21,717 fewer than the previous year,” the Home Office analysis reads.

“The majority (94,149, or 81 per cent) of Indian students come to the UK to study at Master's level, and the recent decrease in Indian students was driven by 21,800 fewer Indian nationals coming to study at Master's level,” it notes.
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