Ubergrad Logo

How Brexit, Britain’s new Prime Minister, and the UK’s proposed immigration system will benefit Indians looking to study in the UK?

An increasing number of international students have become cautious about the USA President Trump’s intentions and immigration policy plans and have shifted direction towards the UK. This is obvious given the UK’s track record of having an established education system that is on par with the USA’s. While an increasing number of current applicants to UK universities have been reported, one thing which is still making people skeptic about is Brexit.

Following Theresa May’s resignation over Brexit, Boris Johnson took charge of the office as Britain’s new Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on July 24, 2019. 

Right from his campaigning days, Boris Johnson has been driving towards a no-deal Brexit and visa friendly immigration system. Before I talk about how Indian students looking to study in the UK are set to benefit, let us understand what exactly Brexit is and its implications. 

The what, why, and how about Brexit

Brexit is a portmanteau of the words Britain and Exit. It is a withdrawal treaty for the United Kingdom (UK) to part ways from the European Union. The European Union is the political and economic cooperation between 28 European countries (out of 51 countries in Europe) with an idea to live as one country. This allowed people from all the countries in the EU to travel and trade freely, and live or work in whichever country they wanted.

This concept of uniting 28 countries arose due to the fact that these countries used to fight a lot between themselves, World war - ll being a prime example. Hence the EU was formed to integrate these European countries together. 

The merging of countries allowed the free flow of people, goods, services, and capital between its countries. Common rules have been established among all the countries to avoid confusion, which is similar to how the United States function. This resulted in economic prosperity and peace throughout Europe. 

While prosperity was shared by all the countries, the same was warranted during hardships as well. Take the recession in 2008 for example. Due to this, people from poorer and less successful countries in the European Union who could not find a job immigrated to richer countries like the UK. This eventually resulted in lesser opportunities for UK people in their own homeland. 

To Brexit or not?

The UK joined the EU in the year 1973 and is the first country to withdraw so far. Following a referendum held on June 23, 2016, over 30 million people have voted and decided to go with Brexit, which is to leave the European Union, with a narrow win by 51.9% to 48.1%. Since that date, a long 2-year exit process has been going on. The UK was initially set to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, and the date was later moved to October 31, 2019. However, this did not happen and ultimately the exit will now be happening on or before January 31, 2020. 

What is a no-deal Brexit?

Under the Brexit deal, the UK is supposed to pay a hefty £39 billion to the EU as a separation cost, in addition to other trade and rights of residence agreements. 

If the UK MPs and the EU could not come up with a settlement by the deadline date, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to go with a no-deal Brexit. It means that the European Union Law and other agreements between the EU and UK will cease to exist, and the UK will be free of the £39 billion divorce bill, and make its own trade and other deals with the world. 

Owing to this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sanctioned an extra £2.1 billion of funding to prepare for the no-deal Brexit. 

Implications of Brexit on UK and EU countries

It is a long and painful process for the EU and UK to come to an agreement or face the consequences of a no-deal Brexit. Let us look at some of the implications on the UK and EU due to this move. 

  • Easy entry and transportation of goods will be reduced.
  • Manufacturing standard of goods will differ between the EU and UK
  • It will get tough for the EU people to move between borders and will require a visa to enter the UK and vice versa. 
  • It may get difficult for other non-EU countries to trade with Europe.
  • It might cause a ripple effect on other European countries like France and Spain which may demand a UK style exit. 
  • Foreign investment from the EU into the UK will decrease.
  • Currency in UK will fall.

Why it might not be as bad for UK when it comes to education

Although most people in the UK believe that leaving the EU will have a damaging effect on UK education and career prospects, It will continue to thrive, given its already established education system. Below are a few reasons supporting this. 

  • Second, only to the US, UK attracts a substantial amount of international students from across the world. Even if the number of EU students applying to the UK decreases, the number will be compensated by other countries like India, which will take advantage of the available admission seats and job opportunities. 
  • UK universities are known for their research capabilities. However, with the imminent exit, the annual European research funding to UK will be cut. That being said, We believe UK government will take proactive measures to maintain the current educational standards it has, and this includes the research infrastructure as well. 
  • With the EU relations turning sour, UK will look to other international destinations to maintain global relations which is always a good thing as it increases exposure and diversity. 
  • Better and more favorable immigration systems will be set up to attract international talent into the country. 

Why Indian students looking to study in the UK will benefit from Brexit?

Post-Brexit, the Europeans who will want to study in the UK will have to shell out additional tuition fees like other non-UK students as opposed to paying the same lesser amounts as UK students earlier. 

This will, in turn, reduce the number of European students applying for UK universities drastically. As a result, the UK’s leading universities will try to attract more overseas students from India and China to overcome financial challenges. 

How Brexit will affect Indian students?

  • It is touted that the Pound value might weaken post-Brexit, which in turn will favor Indian students with cheaper and affordable tuition fees. 
  • Earlier, EU students were given special considerations in terms of admission to universities. Post-Brexit, Indian students will stand a chance to secure admission on equal grounds with their EU counterparts. 
  • Not only admissions but also the job market will mellow and become easier to crack. 
  • The Visa strategy post-Brexit will benefit International Students as the concentration will be set on the skill and not country of origin. 
  • Visa extensions will be given to find work post-graduation which in turn will encourage more students to study in the UK 

What post-Brexit Study / Work Visa and Boris Johnson’s proposed immigration strategy has in store for Indian students?

The British High Commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith has described the newly built UK Government by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as ‘the most Desi Cabinet ever’. This is because more personalities in the Cabinet are of Indian origin than ever before. 

He has assured that revising immigration rules in a way that they are favorable to Indians will be a focus for the current government. Mr. Johnson, on the other hand, has plans to convert their present immigration system post-Brexit and make it similar to Australia's point-based system.

Point-based Immigration System

This system allows an immigrant to enter the UK if they score enough points by meeting the criteria set by the UK government.

The points criteria are based on fields like education qualification, work experience, skill level, language ability and so on. These criteria will be formed based on the UK’s goals and priorities. 

Introducing this type of immigration system will be fairer as it is dependent on one's skill and not on the total cap on immigrant numbers. 

However, the UK already has a point-based system known as ‘Partial Point-based System’. This immigration system is divided into 4 tier Visa systems wherein the immigrants are awarded points based on employer’s sponsorship, salary limit, language fluency, maintenance funds, and other requirements. 

As the current partial point-based immigration system seems unwelcoming to international students, Mr. Johnson’s proposal will improve the overall immigration system and make it more visa friendly. 

Below are a few foreseeable targets and changes in immigration rules, which if put into motion will encourage more Indians to study in the UK. 

  • One of the primary goals of the UK’s International Education Strategy is to increase the number of international students by 30% by 2030. 
  • Post-graduation stay time to search for relevant jobs is believed to be increased from the current 6 months to a year or even two.

Update: As mentioned above, in September 2019, Mr. Boris Johnson’s government has reinstated UK’s 2-year Post-Study Work Rights

  • The current strength of international students in UK universities is 458,000 and is set to be increased to 600,000 in the coming years.
  • Country-wise cap on skilled work visas which is currently 20,700 will be removed and a fairer system like a point-based immigration system will be employed

On 13th December 2019, UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his conservatives party had a sweeping victory in the elections. This was the biggest victory since Margaret Thatcher and this only confirms Britain’s exit from the EU on January 31, 2020. A record 15 Indian origin candidates also register thumping victory in this election, acting as a sign of happy times ahead for Indian students. 

With Britain fast approaching the Brexit deadline and conscious planning happening within the soon to be formed Boris Johnson led UK government to elevate its international stand on education, the UK is all set to challenge other top study abroad destinations like the USA, Canada, and Australia. 

For all those SMART Ubergrads who would let the experts do what they do the best!

Ubergrad.com is a D-I-Y (Do-It-Yourself) study abroad platform that is democratizing the way students APPLY and ENROLL at top universities overseas for graduate studies. You don't need to go to any person/agency for help. You can do it all by yourself from the comfort of your home !!

  • PREPARE - You can prepare and ace the mandatory tests like GRE, IELTS, etc. using our AI-enabled personalized adaptive learning platform and mock tests, at your own pace and comfort.
  • CHECK - Using our proprietary advanced Data Science-backed Machine Learning algorithms (U-SURE & U-SURE PRO), you can get best-fit courses and universities based on your profile parameters - CGPA, Bachelor's degree, Test scores, etc (up to 42 parameters).
  • SEARCH - You can then research these universities and get all the required information/data like required test scores, GPA, tuition fees, global and national rankings, WES evaluation, scholarships, etc., all in one place.
  • SELECT - Using our advanced filters like Tuition Fees, GRE Waiver, Duolingo acceptance, etc., you can shortlist and finalize the universities you want to apply to.
  • APPLY & ENROLL - You can apply to the universities finalized by using our step-by-step self-help resources (guides, videos, blogs, etc.) along with unique samples for SOPs, LORs, Transcripts, University Sample Applications, Admit Letters, Financial Documents, I20/COA/CAS, etc. You will also be getting WhatsApp/Email alerts to track the progress all along the process when you use our proprietary 'Application Tracking' feature.
  • VISA - Now that you have your I-20/CAS/COA, you can find step-by-step resources (guides, videos, blogs, etc.) along with samples for Visa Documents (DS-160 filling), etc as well as mock-visa drills to complete the most critical step of the entire process.
  • TRAVEL - You can find options/resources to book your flight tickets, buy forex/forex cards, international SIM cards, pay tuition fees, etc., all on our website.

In case, you need help at any stage of the process – from ‘shortlisting’ universities to finally ‘enrolling’ at your chosen university abroad, Ubergrad's Expert Counsellors are always available and are just a phone call away (Book a call by clicking on "Talk to Ubergrad Counsellor" button).