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No numerical constraint for student visa: UK Minister

No numerical constraint for student visa: UK Minister
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Seeking to dispel concerns over its strict student visa norms, UK Minister Vince Cable said there is no -'numerical constraint-' for issuance of visa...

New Delhi: Seeking to dispel concerns over its strict student visa norms, UK Minister Vince Cable said there is no "numerical constraint" for issuance of visa to Indian students.

"There is no numerical constraint. People are free to come if they get visa," Cable, the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said here.

The stringent visa norms have made it difficult for students, including from India, to stay and work after completing their degrees.

Cable acknowledged that there is a growing perception that Indian students are "not welcome".

"People who have graduated from the UK universities, they can stay and work. We want them in most cases," he said.

According to the Minister, a large number of young Indians have come to the UK to study and have also made contributions.

"About 2.50 lakh Indians have completed their degrees in the UK. But in the recent years, the perception have grown that they are not welcome ... They are very much welcome," he said at an event organised by Ficci here.

A UK degree us very much value for money, he said, adding the UK government has decided to raise Chevening scholarship by 400 per cent or four times.

The UK is set to announce 396 new scholarships in a bid to attract Indian students to British universities. The scholarships would apply across 57 British universities in 2015.

The senior Liberal Democrat MP is the one of the most outspoken critic of the UK government's immigration policies that have proved off-putting to overseas students, resulting in a sharp drop of students from India.

Besides, he said, a programme is being worked out whereby 25,000 students can come to India.

"We have now adopted Generation UK India programme where whereby 25,000 British students will come here over a 5 year period and they will look internship, attending summer school etc," he said.

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