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Sajid offers sops for Indian students

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Sajid, Smriti Irani, Jo Johnson at the event

‘2016 UK-India Year of Education Research and Innovation (UKIERI)

Sajid, Smriti Irani, Jo Johnson at the event
Sajid, Smriti Irani, Jo Johnson at the event

Britain has announced around 300 new scholarships worth over 2.5 million pounds during 2016-17 for Indian students opting for studies in Britain. He also announced the launch of ‘2016 UK-India Year of Education Research and Innovation (UKIERI)’ campaign at the British Council in New Delhi.

“Around 300 new scholarships for Indian students will be offered in September 2016. Scholarships of around 3,000-5,000 pounds each will be provided to students for admissions in more than 40 universities in the UK,” British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid said.

He said Britain was committed to supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of preparing young Indians for the 21st century.

Javid said there is misconception in India about student visas given by UK and added, “I want to see more and more Indian students coming to UK for world class education.”  He said almost 90% of Indian applicants who study in UK get their visas in 15 days.

“Records speak for themselves. I also want to make it clearer to students about the variety of choices on offer. We have four of the top 10 universities of the world and 30 in the top 200,” he said, adding that great opportunities exist in areas like science, engineering and humanities which have growing importance in India.

Sajid with Indian Human Resources Minister Smriti Irani announcing the '2016 UK-India Year of Education Research and Innovation (UKIERI)
Sajid with Indian Human Resources Minister Smriti Irani announcing the ‘2016 UK-India Year of Education Research and Innovation (UKIERI)

Javid, who met HRD minister Smriti Irani to announce ‘2016 as the UK-India year of research and innovation,’ said UK’s Chevening Scholarship is worth £3 million, the highest anywhere in the word. He also clarified about job opportunities in UK for Indian students studying there, a question repeatedly asked in India.

“Yes. First you can work during the holiday period between semesters. Once you graduate, you are welcome to stay in a graduate-level job and there is no limit to that either and that is good for students for building their skills. Eventually when they decide to return to UK, the practical experience helps and it is good for UK economy,” he said.

Javid said a graduate-level job is around £21,000 a year. “And if you translate it in rupees, it seems like a very high threshold. That is entry level salary for graduates,” he said. He said though aspirants for such jobs have to compete with everyone else but it is “perfectly reasonable for a talented young student who wants to graduate to have such opportunity to take such work.”

“We found time and time again that a number of students from India, China and US stay on through that route. I wouldn’t like Indian students to think that it is such a problem that can never be met,” he said.

 The British delegation includes Jo Johnson, minister of State for Universities and Science, and senior faculty from leading British universities and education institutions.

 Sajid said Britain is an ideal destination for students from India to pursue higher education.

“There is nowhere like Britain to study, it is a home away from home with a large Indian diaspora. Recently saw huge Diwali celebrations in Trafalgar Square and communities across the country. And when it comes to Indian food, apart from India, its hard to beat the UK,” Javid said in an interaction with students at the Hyderabad Public School (HPS).

He spoke to the students at the HPS about higher education opportunities in the UK. One of the school’s esteemed alumni is Lord Karan Bilimoria, the man behind Cobra Beetr.

Sajid interacting with the students
Sajid interacting with the students

Later, Javid met students, alumni and faculty at the Indian School of Business (ISB). He said that India is home to the largest Chevening programme with £2.6 million budget for 2015-16. There are more than 2,000 Chevening alumni in India.

The UK attracts more overseas students than any other country, except the US, including more than 20,000 from India, according to a release from the British Deputy High Commission.

Javid also visited the newly-established T-Hub at IIIT, the Telangana government’s initiative of incubator for start-ups, where he discussed UK’s leadership in the field of innovation to chalk out areas of collaboration between young innovators from both countries.

At the T-Hub, Javid met Telangana IT and Panchayat Raj Minister K T Rama Rao and stated that there was potential for UK and Telangana to work together.

The London-based Ledmac, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the T-Hub in the presence of the Secretary of State Sajid Javid and K T Rama Rao.

“The MoU will help plug the start ups in Telangana with the London’s start-up eco system,” the release said.

Javid also visited the historic Charminar here during his visit, it said.