UK visa clampdown: dampener or deterrent?
As the United Kingdom tightens the noose on student immigration procedures, public sentiment in many parts of India has been stoked up over the new policy.
Many students feel they are being targeted, dubbing these rules as political moves as Britain inches closer towards elections.
And that as a result of these moves, students are losing huge sums of money paid to colleges in UK.
But the British officials have made it abundantly clear the new student visa curbs are directed at weeding out only those who enter their territory not to study but work.
Others strongly endorse the new screening procedures.
For once and for all, they believe, smart Alecs from private agencies who con thousands of innocents from obscure towns will be dealt a death blow.
And that many a Sid (from the Bollywood film ‘Wake up Sid’) in India who dream of hopping around Trafalgar Square or Big Ben under the pretext of a student visa will have their hopes dashed.
Are such stringent student visa immigration rules going to be a deterrent to youngsters drawn to menial offshore jobs?
And for those who seek work at the cost of completing their education in a language which they aren’t qualified for in their own country? Let alone pursuing it in a foreign land.
For students in small towns in India, the ordeal of obtaining foreign education and jobs starts early.
Students are first bombarded with hoardings, newspapers and leaflets with – ‘Learn English in 2 months’ – courses and then ‘attractive and easy visa processing’ schemes by consultation agencies.
Offshore employment is so deeply entrenched in their minds, that even after having completed their education outside India, they conveniently refer to their job as ‘drivery’ and not ‘driving’.
And the fresh crisis facing them is the dearth of jobs assured by consultation agencies.
Instances of many young Indians running out of money are rapidly climbing in UK, suggests a BBC report .
But so are the staggering number of bogus colleges operating in UK , which attract the offshore students.
The remarkable step taken by the UK government is suspending colleges flouting the rules.
UK High Commissioner to India Richard Stagg believes the new curbs will ensure no malpractices continue in the system at either end.
But will this stop touts and agents approaching gullible parents who scrimp and save to get their kids a foreign education?
And how can the governments in both countries make sure that such incidents will not unnerve students in the future? At least, those who genuinely deserve to study and work abroad.