Students planning to go to the UK for further education seem to be in a dilemma. The PSW(Post Study Work) visa or Tier I visa is being banned from April 2012. Every year thousands of students set off to pursue their education in UK. If we believe the official figures presented by the education promotion India, the number of students going to UK has increased from 29000 in 2006 to 57,000 in 2009.
The additional advantage of studying in UK is the Tier I Post study work visa which one acquires after graduating from UK universities. With this visa students are allowed to work for 2 years exploring opportunities and getting some relevant work experience in their related field. However, good things have been often misused. Getting a PSW work visa was not that difficult for students to crack. All you had to do is maintain some 1000 pounds for 3 months in your bank and show a certificate of the degree you pursued and you got a PSW for 2 years. That’s it!
For two years students don’t mind switching through odd jobs and earning pounds. There have been exposes of students working longer than the 2 years. Therefore, the UK government came to a conclusion of banning this visa and introducing a more stringent Tier II visa from April 2012.
Although the reason of pursuing education in UK differs from student to student. I graduated in journalism from the UK in 2010. Soon I found to my surprise that majority of the Indians were there to earn money in Pounds. One of my good friends Dinesh Sharma who was doing an MBA from Birmingham University said, “Doing odd jobs for less than a week, I can earn more than what I used to get in India in a month, the degree is just a way to get here. I will somehow finish my course, get a PSW and would settle here”. I realised there are many students like him mostly, boys who plan to go abroad just to earn from these menial jobs. Then, there are also some who also bring in their dependents to come and work.
So, will genuine students going for a UK degree and work ex get affected by the new Tier II visa being implemented next year? Founder of Career Track, a leading consultancy for education abroad, Shivani Manchanda says, “The good quality students needn’t worry. The ban of PSW visa and the introduction of Tier II general visa is a blessing in disguise. The earlier scheme was not well designed; anyone could enter the country without much calibre. The new scheme is stringent and would benefit only honest students. English language is an essential criterion and only authentic universities in UK are given weightage.
This scheme also clearly states that, if a student is successful in finding a job in his/her profession then, the government would be much happier to permit their stay in UK. To be honest, one can find a job if you really try hard. Every year there is a sandwich month where companies allocate jobs for fresh graduates and not to forget the job fairs which keep on happening every 3 months.
Denise Desoza from Sheffield University has been staying in UK for two years now. Replying to my email she narrates her experience of studying and working in UK. \”I cleared my ICCA exams on one go in 2008, seeing my performance my university proposed me to work as a faculty in my subjects. I was overwhelmed\”.
I believe it’s always a struggle for job anywhere but a good education and right determination can do wonders. Where there is a will there is a way.
Speaking about the education she added, “The universities have also increased the scholarship so that students could benefit. This year, University of East Anglia has approved 12 schools from Mumbai providing them with decent scholarship.\”.
I studied at Birmingham University and did my MA in media studies and what I observed is that during the course period university helps us in getting a job. The Students Union is always there at your service helping you in building your resume, also informing us about the job fairs and giving necessary tips to crack a particular interview in the desired company. I also realised that discussing your career goals with your professor helps because once they know that you are really serious about your aim they help you in getting the contacts and getting your foot in to the industry.
A UK degree carries an international prestige. Apart from education go UK to explore the rich British culture. Also by gaining some work experience you can learn about their professional ethics which is worth appreciating. So, the only things that we need to know is the accreditation of the university, rest everything falls in place. So, the ban of PSW shouldn’t affect if you are really serious about getting international exposure.
UK degree definitely provides an extra edge in your career but it all depends what you do after that.
– Esha Shukla