In the post-Brexit world Britain is desperately seeking to secure new trade deals with global giants such as India.
However, these just so happen to be the very countries which have seen an increase in restrictions on the ability of their students to study in the UK.
In 2012, Theresa May as Home Secretary removed the post-education visa available which enabled overseas students to work for up to two years after graduation.
Since then, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of Indian students attending unversities in the UK.
Under the previous goverment, the number of students dropped from 68 238 to a measly 11 864 today.
This of course was followed by Britian leaving the EU – throwing into question issues of student visas and their cost. However, this presentation of the UK and its decreased interest in Indian intellectual talent is directly at odds with Britain’s need to find trade partners outside of the EU.
At the recent ‘India-UK Tech Summit’, Prime Minister Narenda Modi expressed his outright dismay at both of these issues, and even suggested them as being a cause for his hesistancy in partnering with the UK.
This highlights how important India sees international student mobility for the exorbitance of its businesses and economy.
Although May repeated the rhetoric of her predecessor Cameron, in that there was no cap upon international students studying at UK institutions, Indian students are now choosing other places like Australia and New Zealand over the UK. Instead, and more disconcertingly for Britain, they are taking their business and money elsewhere.
The events of 2016, in the UK and of course the US heightened the uneasy educational atmosphere in places like Turkey in order to extol an even greater need for universities as ‘open’ institutions for freedom of thought and speech, strong and prosperous economies.
As a post-Brexit target for business, India’s hostility shows the growing esteem for higher education within the UK.