London, Sep 12 (UNI) The number of Indian students arriving in the UK universities and colleges for higher education has increased by 18 per cent this year.
The number of freshers is 1581, which would swell the total number of Indian students to almost 27000. This figure is second only to that of Chinese students.
The statistics were released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, which showed that overall there has been a four per cent rise in the number of foreign students being accepted into Britain's varsities through normal applications, up from 45,947 to 47,802.
The figures also showed sharp rises in the number of students arriving on British campuses from other Asian countries including Singapore (up 30 per cent to 965) and Hong Kong (up four per cent to 2,525).
Bill Rammell, the Higher Education Minister, said, ''I am very pleased to see that England is still proving a popular destination for international students. It underlines the status of England as a premier league study destination maintaining its world class reputation.'' ''These students will not only benefit from the excellent educational experience England offers, but also the opportunity to work in the UK for two years following graduation,'' Mr Rammell added.
British Universities are facing financial problems because the EU and British students pay only 3000 pounds a year compared to 8500 to 12000 pounds shelled out by foreign students.
The UK varsities welcome these students who pay about 12.25 billion pounds in fees.
Universities prefer Indian students also because they are disciplined and academically one of the best.
''We want more Indian students because we want the best in the world to come to Oxford,'' Chancellor Chris Patten of Oxford University said.
The varsity, which produced the likes of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had 257 Indian students on roll, ending the 2008 term.
UNI XC RJ BD1450