British universities have released plans for how UK Higher Education can retain and increase their global influence and impact beyond Covid-19, building their capacity to attract talent and investment from around the world.

The manifesto, published on 21 October, made clear that the UK will only achieve its ambitious aims in science, research, and the arts if it adopts policies which make it easier for students, teachers and researchers to study, work and live in Britain.

The Universities representative body described a major competitive advantage for the country to help grow education exports and attract, nurture and retain global talent if it embraces policies which ensure it is attractive to international talent, including from India.

According to Study Group’s Managing Director for the UK and EU James Pitman, “UK universities are absolutely right to emphasise the opportunity for British Higher Education as well as our research base, skills and the economy if we ensure the country is the world’s first choice for University study. For decades we have had an outstanding reputation for academic quality and the welcome Indian students receive in our universities and wider society. If we match that with globally-leading service from application through all aspects of international education policy through study and beyond, there is nothing to stop the UK becoming the world leader in higher education for Indian students.

“Key to this is ensuring that all those involved in welcoming and supporting Indian students are listening carefully to their concerns, needs and ambitions and responding in ways which support students to choose the UK.”

Indian students have a crucial role to play as students and graduates in this technological future, providing a win-win for the UK and India, along with professional opportunities for young Indian graduates.

Sanam Arora, Chair of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU) observes, “The UK’s economic future lies in high-value, knowledge-intensive activities. Severe skill shortages, however, are a limiting factor – half of the British vacancies in STEM areas are hard to fill. Indians could have a similar impact on the UK as they have had on the US, where their contribution has been integral to making Silicon Valley the technological hub of the world. At the same time, the bilateral relationship will flourish as people-to-people ties are enhanced and money flows to India via remittances to families back home.”