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Scottish Universities introduce new schemes to students

Written by: Staff

London, Dec 5 (UNI) After Britain, now Scotland is fast becoming the preferred destination of international students and sensing the opportunity, the Scottish universities have already come up with a unique scheme to lure such students.

Unsurprisingly, Indians are the biggest group to make use of this scheme, which critics say is a ''pay-as-you-go'' work permit.

Scotland's 'Fresh Talent' visa scheme, introduced in June 2005, was the first of its kind in the world, which permits international students to stay on and work only in Scotland after university.

An average Indian student pays anywhere from 20,000 pound to 40,000 pound as fees and living expenses for a two-year Scottish university course.

But now, in exchange Scotland is giving them the right to work.

Steven Szymoszowskyj, lead policy officer of the Fresh Talent scheme, told Indian journalists in Edinburgh that Indian students can avail the offer a year after the completion of university education or even if they have left Scotland during that period.

Under this scheme 737 Indians have already applied for two years work permit after university, in the visa-free programme.

Mentionably, Indians make the largest segment of any non-EU country students studying at any of the 47 colleges in Scotland's 21 universities.

Meanwhile, since June 2005, when the scheme began, 2,700 Indians have enrolled in Scottish universities and 75 per cent of them who have successfully applied for a Fresh Talent visa got jobs, mostly in the finance, high-tech and engineering sectors.

A team from the Scottish government is expected to come to India in February 2007 to encourage students to avail the offer and thereby opt to study in Scottish universities.


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