John Swinney, the deputy first minister of Scotland, has given a hint that Scotland is mulling on granting post-study visa to Indian students. During his visit to Delhi and Mumbai last week, Mr Swinney said that Scotland wanted to welcome more Indian students to Scottish institutions. “But for that, we need to make sure that they get to stay a bit longer after they finish their courses,” he was quoted by Economic Times.
The Scottish minister also expressed his concern over the strict post-study visa restrictions on Indian students in the UK. He said that earlier Scotland had many schemes that allowed international students, including those from India, to stay back after studies. They were allowed to start businesses. Now the Scottish government is thinking about re-introducing such schemes, according to the Mr Swinney.
The minister thinks that letting Indian students stay longer would benefit Scotland. He is of the opinion that British government’s strict post-study visa policies have to be replaced with a more pragmatic approach. He was accompanied by the representatives of 11 Scottish universities.
More than around 1300 Indian students are pursuing their studies in Scottish institutions currently. Scottish institutions offer a number of courses in various disciplines including science, humanities, law, medicine etc.
Mr Swinney believes that many Indian students have good entrepreneurial ideas but don’t have the resources to develop them further. Not allowing them to stay back in Scotland is depriving them the opportunity to take their ideas forward.
Scholarships for Indian students
During the visit, Mr Swinney also announced 20 scholarships for Indian students. The visit was part of the India higher education mission, a part of a mission called ‘Scotland’s universities welcome the world. The mission has allocated £1million on scholarship exclusively for Indian students. Those who win these scholarships can pursue their studies in MBA, big date, medical technologies and food/water in Scotland.
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