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Indian students gone up from 3,800 five years ago to 18,000 last year despite the steep fee hike


How do we retain Indians: UK's biggest problem

LONDON, February 8 2006

The number of Indian students doing higher studies in Britain has increased nearly five-fold in as many years despite the steep fee hike, the Indian envoy to the country has said.

“The number of students studying here has gone up from 3,800 five years ago to 18,000 last year, the same as in the USA, despite the steep hike in the fees,” said Indian High Commissioner Kamalesh Sharma, the chief guest at a meeting held to celebrate India's Republic Day, organised on Monday night by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, UK.

Speaking at the same function, lord Navnit Dholakia, deputy leader of the liberal democrats in the House of Lords said, “In the olden days educated Indians were queuing up to come to the UK. But now the biggest problem for the UK is to how to stop them from going back to India.”

Sharma also pointed out that out of the 21,500 work permits issued last year for software engineers by the UK, 85 per cent were from India. Referring to the rapid progress India has made in the last few years, Sharma said that last year, Indian companies invested 2 billion dollars in merger and acquisitions world-wide.

He pointed out that apart from acquiring the Tetley and Tyfoo tea companies, Tatas opened a design centre in Coventry employing 1,000 people. Sir Gulam K Noon, founder of the multi-million dollar noon products, lauded the way secularism was being practiced in India and told the gathering, “I am very proud to say I am born in India.”

Lord Dholakia said that reflecting the growing India-UK relations, delegations after delegations from the UK were now visiting India. Not only did Prime Minister Tony Blair visit India while returning from China, the US President George W Bush is now planning a visit to New Delhi, he pointed out.

The function was also attended by Maneck Dalal, chairman of the Bhavan, Dr Atul Khare, director Nehru Centre and K S Bhardwaj, Minister for Press and Information in the High Commission.

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