More than half of Indian graduates from UK universities earn above-average salaries, according to the study by Universities UK International (UUKi).
The study titled International Graduate Outcomes Report surveyed more than 16,000 UK graduates, out of which 988 are Indian.
The study was conducted by Universities UK International and surveyed people who graduated between two and seven years ago were asked about their lives after university.
The report, in which 58 UK universities participated, showed largely positive outcomes for Indians, as 99 percent of working respondents ended up in skilled work, many of whom had managerial responsibilities.
In fact, Indians are 23 percent more likely to have managerial positions than other nationalities, says the study conducted in collaboration with British Council India and released on September 4.
Vivienne Stern, director of UUKi, said this was the largest survey of international students in the UK ever conducted, spanning graduates from 183 countries.
Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, she said, “The UK degree appears to be a passport for a globally mobile career.”
The study focused on student and work visas. The UK government has extended the buffer periods for graduates, which means undergraduates and postgraduates can now stay in the UK for up to 6 months after finishing university, compared to the earlier grace period of four months. PhD students can stay for a year to find a job.
Indians rank the highest when it comes to obtaining tier 2 UK visas, which are the standard permits for skilled workers. In the past year, over 56,000 Indians have been granted tier 2 visas. There has also been a 42 percent increase in Indian students in the UK in the last year, with 19,750 Indians studying in the UK in 2017/18. The 21,881 tier 4 student visas that were granted put India among the fastest-growing nationalities of students in the UK.
Tom Birtwistle, the director of British Council India (North), said that interviews had been scrapped from the visa application process, before reiterating the significance of the number of visas granted to India, “The tier 2 category of visas is an indication of the contributions that Indian workers make to the UK economy.”
Up to 51 percent of Indian respondents say they earn above or well above average, while 90 percent of women feel the same. For 80 percent, getting a degree from a UK university helped them get their jobs.
62 percent of Indian graduates returned home to work, while 16 percent found jobs in the UK. Just over a quarter of Indians graduating from the UK work in Maharashtra (25.2 percent), while Karnataka comes second at 15.4 percent.
The top industry for work was computing/IT, where 13.8 percent of Indians work, compared to the global average of 6.3 percent. This was followed by the education (10 percent) and manufacturing (9.2 percent) sectors.
In terms of subjects, management studies topped the list with 17.1 percent of Indians, in contrast with 6.7 percent of all respondents. Business studies proved the second most popular, at 10 percent.
At least 82 percent of Indians responded positively in terms of career satisfaction, stating they are happy or very happy with their jobs. The top reason for Indian graduates taking their current jobs was that it was exactly the type of work they wanted to do, while only 4 percent said it was because that was the only job offer they had received.
Professor Sir Steve Smith, the vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter and chair of Universities UK’s International Policy Network, said UKIERI’s goal was mutual benefit and two-way traffic, “We want to encourage and support Indian students to come to the UK. But we’re particularly interested in how we can get more UK students to come to India, and our aim is to double that number.”
He added that the UKIERI Mobility Programme: Study in India will support 200 UK students to study in India in the next year.
Given the current political scenario in the UK, how does Brexit affect employment prospects for India? Stern said there was no guarantee of a level playing field for students from within and outside the EU. “We’re completely committed to making sure we stay open and welcome to students, irrespective of whether they’re from Europe or otherwise.”She added, “There are some opportunities, and the direction of travel and visa policies is an indication in this new environment to secure some new and positive change when it comes to attracting and supporting international students who come to the UK."