Geoff Layer, vice , University of , talks to TOI about the implications of India’s exclusion from a new list of countries in the visa application process
Indian teaching does not involve creativity whereas as international teaching gives more importance to case studies, presentation, group assignments and individual project submissions rather than exams to test students’ skills. “The meaning of true education means to apply knowledge in day- to-day activities. Though every coin has two sides, there is a stark difference between Indian and international teaching methodology, says Geoff Layer, vice chancellor, University of Wolverhampton.
“International education is all about exposure and experiences,” says Geoff. “But what Indian education does impart is hard work, diligence and value-based education which pays off at a later stage,” Geoff adds.
Studying in UK
UK education, claims Geoff, focusses on short courses which help the students. “This helps in overall reduction of tuition fee and accommodations expenses. The students are entitled to work part time throughout and full-time during vacation to cover the cost of living.” “The acceptability of qualifications awarded by bodies like Pearson reduces the cost by offering two years’ programme, post class XII and acceptability of students directly into the final year of graduation at all UK universities. International recognition and research are yet another takeaways,” Geoff says.
UK government’s recent decision to exclude Indian students from a new list of countries considered low-risk in order to facilitate an easier visa application process to UK Universities, may not have it easy for Indian students, says Geoff.
“The (government’s) list covers countries from where students would face reduced checks on educational, financial and English language skill requirements to study at UK universities. These changes make it easier for international students to come to study in the UK. However, India has been left out of this new expanded list, which means Indian students applying for similar courses will continue to face rigorous checks and documentary requirements.”
Geoff further says, the new UK laws have made it tougher for not only Indian students, but also for other international and non-EU students to switch their study visas to work permit. “The UK has abolished the post-study work visa in 2012 that allowed international and non-EU students to stay in the UK and work for up to two years after graduation. Those who want to work in the UK still can apply for a Tier 2 visa. To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa, students will need to find a job that pays at least GBP 20,800 a year. For some types of work, this figure is even higher, which for a first job is pretty difficult, especially outside London. In addition, the employer must be able to demonstrate that they had advertised the job but could not find a suitable UK applicant,” Geoff says.
While on a recent visit to India for his university’s tie-up with Rustomjee Academy for Global Careers (RAGC) to provide Indian students vocational knowledge in the Hospitality, Business and HR, and Engineering sectors through a one-year’s graduation programme, Geoff was all for India’s youth skilling, but felt that skill-based initiatives in India should focus on quality and not just on huge quantitative expansion of skill training facilities. “India can then become the global sourcing hub for skilled employees,” Geoff says.
He is all for a collaborative east-west learning experience for Indian students “to help them compete worldwide” with greater confidence.
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