The number of Indian students being issued with UK visas to study in Britain is rising for the first time in seven years.
Figures from the Government show that the number of Tier 4 visas approved for Indian students stood at 8,692 between July and September, a six per cent rise on the same period last year.
The third quarter, when universities return after the long summer break, is the busiest period for overseas student visa applications. This is the first time the figure has increased in the July to September quarter since 2009, when 29,207 Tier 4 visas were issued to Indian students, and is also the first significant quarterly rise since the first three months of 2011.
There was also a five per cent jump in the number of sponsored study visa applications from Indian students during the period.
Overall, there was a 2.6 per cent increase in the number of Tier 4 visas approved during the third quarter of the year.
The number of Indian students choosing to study in the UK has been declining following the abolition of the post-study work visa in 2012, which allowed students to remain in the UK to seek work after completing their courses.
Universities have voiced concern that students are being put off Britain because of the tighter visa criteria and the country is both losing out on talented individuals and the economic benefits they bring.
Director of education at the British Council India, Richard Everitt, said that the new figures show an “important market breakthrough point” and reflected the “deeper relationships” between British and Indian universities. There has also been an increase in the number of scholarship opportunities and the types of courses Indian students are choosing, such as law, media and fashion.