As a first, the Government of Wales celebrated its National Day, also known as St. David’s Day on March 1 in Mumbai to bring the fervour of the festival to India. With the presence of alumni members of Welsh universities, the country’s future as a study destination for Indian students has become significant. In an interview with the Free Press Journal, Head of Asia, Middle East, Overseas Network Performance & Delivery, Samantha Dimond discussed the rise in Indian students in Wales, benefits for them, and much more.
1. How many Indian and international students are currently studying in Welsh universities?
Since 2013, the number of students in Wales has grown considerably with now over 2,000 students from India currently studying across our eight universities. There has been an overall increase of 200% in students studying in Wales, since 2016.
2. Has there been an increase in the number of Indian students in Wales compared to last year?
There has been a 37 % increase in the number of students from India enrolling in an undergraduate or postgraduate course at one of Wales’ eight leading universities. Numbers have been steadily rising over the last four years.
One of the reasons why is that Wales provides great value for money when compared to big cities such as London – which has been voted the fourth most expensive city in the world. Wales is only 2 hours by train.
Wales is also a great place to live. With a population of around 3.1 million people, it is a land of amazing geographical diversity. Around a quarter of Wales, from the mountains to the sea, is designated a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wales is the first country in the world to have a dedicated footpath that follows its whole coastline – a total of 1,400km (870 miles). Wales also has a rich cultural heritage and 641 castles.
The quality of life is fantastic and our Indian alumni talk very fondly about the warm Welsh welcome they received and the wonderful sense of community.
3. How is the Welsh Government planning to attract more Indian students to Wales?
The Global Wales Postgraduate Programme offers scholarships up to £10,000 / 9,56,800 INR to study for a full-time Master's Programme. It is funded by the Welsh Government, Universities in Wales, The British Council, and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. It is a strong statement of intent to welcome international students to Wales
Samantha Dimond |
4. Has the Welsh govt set a target for the no. of Indian students it expects in next 3-4 years?
We are not aware of any set targets but are keen to provide a warm welcome for all those Indian students who chose to study in Wales. At the same time, we would like to encourage students from Wales to experience the incredible culture and heritage in India, this is one of the aims of the programmes established by the Welsh Government.
5. Would proposed curbs on international students in the UK affect ones who wish to study in Wales?
I am not aware of this and can’t comment.
6. In light of recent reports of Indian students being mistreated in Welsh care homes, how are you planning to tackle such incidents?
I cannot comment on the details of this case. The mistreatment of any student is a serious issue.
7. What are some of the key things that students should keep in mind when it comes to enrolling in Welsh universities?
In terms of study, there are a wide variety of courses on offer and the methods of teaching are very open with the emphasis being on group discussions, independent study, and research for assignments.
But it is not all about the study, Indian students will have the chance to learn about Welsh culture, meet new people, and explore new places across Wales and the rest of the UK. For many students in Wales, it is often the first time to be away from the family home, and friends, and the chance to discover more about themselves, discover new things and have new experiences in a warm, and supportive environment.
Finally, the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR) allows students to stay in Wales, UK two years after completion of their studies and graduation.
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