Surge in Indian Students Applying for UK Study Visas: Latest Findings


According to the report, student enrollment in UK universities is expected to surge by over 46 percent in the upcoming academic session.

The UK Home Office has reported a substantial 54 percent increase in the number of sponsored study visas granted to Indian students compared to 2022, signaling a significant shift in the UK’s favor as a preferred destination for Indian students seeking higher education. These findings have been meticulously analyzed and presented by Gradding, a prominent study abroad platform.

The statistics reveal a remarkable surge, indicating that Indians now hold nearly seven times the number of study visas compared to 2019. Specifically, the UK issued close to 500,000 sponsored study visas, with the exciting revelation that nearly one-third of these were granted to Indian students. As a result, it is anticipated that the number of Indian students enrolling in UK universities will exceed an impressive 300,000 in the upcoming academic session.

Analysis of Data

The data reveals a total of 142,848 sponsored study visas granted to Indian students, indicating a remarkable increase of 49,883 visas or 54 percent in comparison to the preceding year ending in June 2022. Notably, the Graduate Route, which allows students to extend their stay in the UK after completing their studies, accounted for 42 percent of extensions, primarily benefiting Indian students. Moreover, a significant 20 percent of students whose visas expired in 2022 opted to transition to the Graduate Route upon completing their studies, a trend anticipated to persist in 2023 and show further growth in the upcoming academic year.

Mamta Shekhawat, the founder of Gradding, underscores that students are increasingly drawn to the UK due to its exceptional “value for money.” She asserts that the UK provides cost-effective education with average expenses lower than countries such as the USA and Australia. Additionally, she highlights the high employability of UK graduates, with 8 in 10 international students experiencing career progression, promotions, and increased earnings as a direct result of their education in the UK.

Diversification in International Student Enrollments

The Dynamics of International Enrollments in UK Universities” In recent years, the landscape of international enrollments in UK universities has experienced a significant transformation. In 2020, the majority of international students came from Greece and Ireland, comprising 21 percent of all enrollments. However, there has been a notable shift in 2021.

In 2022 and 2023, China and India have emerged as the top two source countries, contributing to 41 percent of all international enrollments. This shift can be partially attributed to recent tensions between India and Canada, which have led many students to choose the UK as their preferred destination for higher education.

Scholarships: Turning Dreams into Reality

Empowering Dreams of UK Education: Scholarships and Streamlined Visa Opportunities” Scholarships have played a pivotal role in making the dream of studying in the UK more accessible. Notably, there has been a 10 percent increase in the demand for scholarships compared to the previous year, with the University of Essex in the UK offering valuable scholarships worth £10,000 for Indian students enrolling in one-year master’s programs.

Furthermore, the UK government has taken proactive measures to simplify the visa process for Indian students, particularly with the reintroduction of the Graduation Immigration Route. This route allows Indian students to work in the UK for up to two years post-graduation without the need for a tier-2 visa.

Moreover, Indian students can anticipate the issuance of their UK visas within just 15 business days, streamlining travel arrangements between India and the UK.

In contrast to the US or Canada, the UK provides the distinct advantage of one-year postgraduate programs, rendering higher education more cost-effective and within reach for Indian graduates.

The Graduation Immigration Route bolsters the employability of Indian students in the competitive UK job market, drawing talented individuals from across the globe. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, pursuing a postgraduate degree in the UK can significantly bolster your prospects of securing your dream job in your chosen field.

Countries/year2019/202020/212021/222022/23% change
Canada642,480530,540621,565807,750Overall -25%
USA1,075,495914,095948,520Yet not calculatedOverall -3%
UK556,625605,130679,970Yet not calculated but app. 809,950+22%

In the 2020/21 academic year, the UK exceeded its international student enrollment target for 2030 by a full decade, hosting over 600,000 international students. Among leading nations, both the UK and Canada have experienced the most remarkable growth in international student enrollment in recent years.

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