UK “bluffs” India in believing that it will continue to allow Post Study Work for International Students!

India needs to realize that the provisions and changes in UK are not just for Indian students and it does need some in its team who can do the homework well. If someone from outside the industry reads the article quoted below, he will assume that UK has assured India that PSW will not be abolished for Indian students.

UK has actually committed nothing new to Indian Government but just dressed up the provision that allows switch to Tier 2 which on paper looks easy now but is “little” difficult in reality as it requires a “certain type of job and a certain pay (GBP 20K+) which a fresh international is not able to get”. Typical of India to believe that they have been heard! They should know that both British Council and Universities UK have lobbied hard but the Government continued with the changes…

For those who want to read a summary of the changes with their implications for international students, you can look up the linked page from The University of Manchester website.

Now to the Indian Government’s indication of success in lobbying. Believe it only at your own risk… its better to stick to wait for details… My bet is that the British bluff to them will get called quite soon.

DNA reports… quoting PTI and hence you can imagine that most papers will carry it too.

UK assures India it will allow post-study work permits to students

Published: Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012, 10:59 IST
Place: London | Agency: PTI

Britain has assured India that it will continue to allow post-study work-experience permits to students, provided they get appropriate jobs commensurate with their qualifications or degrees, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said.

After his meetings with Britain’s Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable here, Sharma told media last evening that he had raised the issue of Post Study Work Permits to students.

He shared with them India’s concern about its stoppage as large number of Indian students “come here, they study hard and they should have some practical exposure”.

“The Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Dr Vince Cable have assured that UK will continue to allow…The issue is how they are looking at it,” Sharma said.

“What they have shared with me is that they (students) should get appropriate jobs which are commensurate with their qualifications or degrees. Now that is something which could be discussed,” he added.

The minister said that the very fact that there is this reassurance at the highest level from the British Government, this issue will be resolved.

“I shall follow up my talks today with a communication and I hope that given our relationship, even the fact that a very large number of Indian students from middle class families, ordinary families, students who have taken loans, come and study here and we also are keen to engage more in education and skills sectors where UK has the strength, this issue will get resolved in a correct manner. That is what is communicated to me,” Sharma said.

He added, “They say they have no intention to deny. It is only they are looking at certain specifics so that the domain knowledge is utilised in Post Study Work. Let us leave it at that,” the visiting Indian minister said.

13 Comments

  1. Why though does anyone have a ‘right’ to live and work in a country where they do not have residency or nationality status? Would British graduates be allowed to fly to India and start applying for jobs – no, clearly not. So why is there is a sense that the UK should offer this?

    Why also would it make sense for a country in economic recession (such as the UK) to
    encourage migration from international students with little to no formal work experience when it already has an over supply of graduates in the jobs market? Would encouraging this kind of migration as an additional benefit related to making a significant financial investment in UK education even be ethical, given the challenges students would face?

    There appears to be a pervading sense amongst many in India that if a sudent invests in pursuing their education in a foreign country that that same country ‘owes’ the student the opportunity to live and work there. This is not the case elsewhere (where graduates salaries are often lower) because prospective students realise that they are making the investment in their own education and in the their future career potential – not buying a short-term work visa. If they don’t think the education and enhanced opportunity is worth the investment, then clearly they can make the decision not to spend the money.

    Finally, where is the bluff here? The UK government very publicly stated that it was removing the 2 year graduate work visa opportunity last year. The graduate work opportunity that remains is very real but is only open to those obtaining graduate positions rather than low paid jobs.

    Indian students are very welcome in the UK and they will have an excellent experience if they choose to come, but please stop claiming that the UK government is treating Indian students unfairly – the policy and the opportunities appliy to everyone and are pretty much the same policies and opportunities that exist in every other country in the world.

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    1. You are certainly free to your views. The bluff is not in removing the PSW since that was indeed a public announcement which has been carried through. The bluff is in UK assuring India that PSW will continue when what they really are saying that Indian students can still work provided they move to Tier 2 and then those conditions will apply. And Indian minister believed it to mean that PSW will continue.

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      1. Respected Sir,

        I have completed my MBA in U.K. and also got the PSW in 2010, but to tell you and others the truth Britain has always been diplomatic country, even if they say you must find right work, but when we applied the criteria stated that you need to have a 3yr VISA to apply for job, One of the U.K. banks I applied to LTSB actual replied my application has been put on hold and won’t be processed due to VISA status of PSW. So I would say its better not to have a PSW rather than having it because its of no use, because ground realities are very different to give you any employment even though you are eligible for the job,they would not even give you the scope to compete. I am still in U.K. with my PSW and working in a call centre with my Master degree holder friends.

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    2. UK’s rising population has always been with migrants from Asia, Africa and other countries. The reason for increase in local business activities in UK is because of the rising population which consists of people from all around the world. UK’s population is mostly immigrant based.

      UK still continues to attract people from all over and that’s the basic difference between India and UK . Please also note that none of the Indian institutes attract UK nationals where as we have almost all Universities of UK who have setup their shops in India recruiting agents and students . PSW is an attractive option to attract students and UK needs to have this to attract students

      The argument is hopeless and baseless

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      1. Interesting comments Nishi. However I would like you to also see my comments to Bevan above… The weblink to AIU document will term all UK Masters as not acceptable in India. Even then the Indian Minister goes and lobbies for work rights in UK for them… crazy!

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      2. “The argument is hopeless and baseless” – if you are referring to the suggestion that India’s policies on migration are the same as the UK’s, then it is not baseless – it is a fact. There may not be so many foreign students at Indian universities, but there are many expatriates working in India. However, they are only allowed to work when they meet specific criteria – just as in the UK.

        “UK’s population is mostly immigrant based” – In fact less than 10% of the UK population is comprised of immigrants and while most of the population increase in the last 20 years is due to immigration, immigration has actually slowed down over the last 5 years. So, this assertion is also incorrect, though it is certainly true to say that immigrants have made a huge positive contribution to UK business and the UK economy.

        “PSW is an attractive option to attract students and UK needs to have this to attract students” – I can understand why you might think this, but the simple facts are that the number of students coming to the UK since the removal of the 2 year PSW visa option has actually increased overall. The only country from which there has been a mrked decrease has been India. So, while your assertion is arguably true in India it is not true in the rest of the world. There needs to be an understanding that there are different cultural issues and aspirations here – most international students want to come and study in the UK (or the US, or Australia) to get good qualifications, international exposure, improve their English and return to gain desirable employment in their own country.

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        1. Paul, a few years back UK institutes were wooing Indian students with post study work options. This option was available for all non-EU students who have completed a recognized course from a recognized Institute to work for up to two years after they had finished their course at university.

          Many UK institutes have setup shops in India to recruit students; they have done extensive marketing and offered all sorts of incentives to students. In fact in the past many of them were openly claiming about migration outcomes and post-study-work options to build their business in India.

          Now there is a heavy fall in numbers and I am glad that you agree that numbers from India dropped heavily. I am sure it will further drop as PSW option is no longer available from April 2012.

          The reports I read is that Middlesex University and the University of Greenwich, the two institutions that have recruited mainly from India are already known to have experience a huge dip in demand from Indian students recently.

          UK is recovering from recession and International students do pay their taxes and also add to the local economy and reduction in the number will damage the UK’s education sector plus the retail markets.

          The issue here is to qualify under the Tire 2 category may be difficult for young graduates who have just passed out from the university. Students may not be able to find a job under the category mentioned in Tire 2 with a salary of GDP 20K plus in a short period of time. So many will not qualify as getting the first job with a high pay packet may not be possible.

          It’s like the process of metamorphosis, International student who has just qualified from a UK university is like a young tadpole, give him/her some time inshore and slowly he/she will get the exposure, learn and will jump like a frog and become successful.

          The authorities in UK in order to stop the abuse of the system may have some numerical cap on student visas, so visas will stop being issued when they reach a certain level. Maybe this is the solution too

          Options for PSW is the need for of the day and Tire 2 option will not work, its a face wash

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  2. “Britain has assured India that it will continue to allow post-study work-experience permits to students, provided they get appropriate jobs commensurate with their qualifications or degrees, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said.”

    This is correct. So, where is the bluff? If, as you say, the Indian Minister wants to read more into this, then that would surely make him presumptuous.

    Also, this isn’t about Indian students though – the policy and the opportunities apply to everyone and are pretty much the same policies and opportunities that exist in every other country in the world. The UK government is not saying or doing anything differently with Indian students compared to students of any other nationality.

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    1. I agree that there is no special provision for Indian students as compared to other nationals. I also agree that that if the indian minister wants to read more into it and then this would surely make him presumptuous. Further his media comments and releases give a feeling of continuity. Good to have your comments that complete the picture.

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  3. 1. UK higher education at a UK University such as Northampton leads to qualifications that are globally recognized as a mark of quality. As such UK graduates are able to find aspirational employment opportunities across the world ie not only in the UK but also back home in India and in other parts of the world . We have Indian alumni working for multiple national companies in Singapore , USA , Canada , China , UAE, Australia and many other countries as well as many more pursuing excellent careers in India having been able to leapfrog up the corporate ladder as a result of their UK qualification .

    2. T the withdrawal of PSW does not mean the UK is closed in terms of employment opportunities to Indian graduates and post graduates form UK universities . There are still opportunities for graduates to apply for employment under tier 2 work-permits which allows for graduate level employment . Also, skills shortage areas are also open to non EU applicants to obtain work in UK- skills shortage areas are kept under constant review and updated to meet needs of UK industries for qualified employees . There are also a range of other schemes to enable talented and entrepreneurial graduates to experience employment opportunities in the UK ie the new Tier 1 graduate entrepreuner scheme . UON has applied to be a sponsor under this scheme and has social enterprise scholarships that can assist our graduates who wish to develop a social enterprise business after graduation .

    3. in addition, at UON we have embedded work placement opportunities in many of our degree programmes to enable our students to enhance their CV’s and employability skills by gaining actual hands on experience in their chosen field both on campus working for the university as well as off campus with independent employers whilst they are studying for their degrees. This is supported by a Placement unit that assist students in finding placements , a dedicated international careers Adviser within our award winning student careers Department who provides focussed and targeted support to help international graduates find employment and to present themselves and the skills they have obtained studying at UON in the most effective way to future employers . In addition a newly established recruitment and employment agency – coco careers for our students and graduates has been set up .

    4 . Uk international students at UK Universities are still able to work 20 hours per week during term time and full time during holidays and this is not limited in any way as it is in other countries . This is better than is allowed in many competitor countries such as USA were students only have limited opportunities to work on campus . UON supports international students to find part time work by organising part time employment fairs for employers with this type of opportunity to visit campus and meet students as well as an on line job shop linking students with employers looking for part time staff .

    Finally the most important message is UK universities provide globally recognised and valued qualifications and graduates are sought after because of the skills they have developed studying at a UK university across the globe and there are still opportunities to gain work experience while studying for a UK qualification and University of Northampton provides a whole range of opportunities and types of support for our students and graduates to develop practical skills that enhance their career opportunities .

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    1. It is now time to bury the PSW issue and move ahead. The link in the blog from University of Manchester is a very helpful summary. Indian students and International students need to aspire to study for the study as the end goal. If they can get work options post the education there, it can be good but they need to be prepared for the possibility of the regulations coming in the way. Unfortunately, over the last few years, UK was promoted with the PSW and prior to that Scotland was promoted with the similar scheme and hence this got somehow to become the key feature embedded with studying options.
      Politicians are Politicians around the world. They make the noises that suit their constituents. In UK the call for cutting migrants and restricting the workplaces is in response to the economic climate. In India, the minister returns and says that his plea has been heard that PSW will continue in some form or another. In between, the media has its own interpretations.

      Bevan, It is good that you have raised the topic of “Finally the most important message is UK universities provide globally recognised and valued qualifications and graduates are sought after because of the skills they have…” This though sounds correct, is unfortunately found wanting as per the qualification equivalence issued by ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN UNIVERSITIES recently. We have a student who studied at University of Nottingham and was denied admission in the next level studies here based on the set guidelines and then he discovered that legally the 1 year Masters from UK has been denied equivalence. He wrote to British Council and BC simply showed their inability to do anything. This is where the British PM needs to speak up and lobby. The link is http://www.aiuweb.org/Evaluation/IB%202009.pdf This was my topic for the next blog and it will be good to see some lobbying from Britain…

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  4. Well , that’s what i felt somewhere too, that the UK meant the Tier 2 arrangements for graduates and the media has concluded it’s PSW’s return. However, Mr Sharma says the below –
    a) “What they have shared with me is that they (students) should get appropriate jobs which are commensurate with their qualifications or degrees. Now that is something which could be discussed,”
    b) “The Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Dr Vince Cable have assured that UK will continue to allow…The issue is how they are looking at it,”

    I think the above statement makes it clear, that the minister is aware of the new conditions proposed for the students , and the part ”Now that is something which could be dicussed” and “The issue is how they are looking at it,” clearly indicates that the topic of discussion IS the newly proposed regulations ( skilled job offer and a 20K salary).
    Finally, even though it’s possible that the media has presumed it to be PSW , Mr Sharma in my opinion , sure has some background about PSW and it’s scrapping !!

    My conclusion is , that it’s not guaranteed that the PSW IS back…but they sure are negotiating something in similar lines atleast.

    Again, let’s all wait and see 😀

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