Varsha Viswanathan Varrier has been saving for Master’s in Advertisement and PR for the past two years. She started working in India in 2011 and refused to take a major vacation since then.
She says: “Studying in the UK has always been a dream. I have been saving my salary in order to fund for my education myself without resorting to any educational loan. However, if the new rule by the NHS becomes applicable I might have to rethink my decision of coming to the UK. Medicine is expensive and the cost of treatmensts is increasin day by day. ”
The conservative party stated on March 7th, 2013 that in the forthcoming year, the free medical service provided by the NHS to the international student might come to a halt.
A spokesperson from the Department of Health, NHS stated in a report that NHS is not there to serve the health needs of the world and we will not tolerate abuse of the system.
Ms Lukka, a Kenyan student in Cardiff is currently perusing Law and she is upset with the news. She is registered with the NHS and has availed the services only once since her arrival.
She says: “Already we are paying so much to study here. This is not fair to us. The medical expenses are very high in UK and most of us can’t afford it. We, international students are responsible for a major economic boost in UK and now we are being treated as inferiors. Also, the NHS is not entirely free for us students. A certain amount of money towards the NHS is contributed from our tuition fees which we pay to the university.”
Jazz John, branch manager of Edwise, an overseas education consultant in India believes that this move by the UK government might lead to fewer applicants from India for higher education.
She says: “This year we have fewer applications for MBA in UK in comparison to others. There is a general feeling of distrust with the UK government amongst the students. This year, even the VISA regulations have become strict and with the NHS withdrawing free medical services, the cost of education becomes high. Not many overseas students can afford such money.”
Victor Lazaro, who is currently pursuing a PhD in economics in Wales, says: “Wales is a student hub and majority of the economic resources of the state come from the students. Especially the Chinese students contribute majorly towards the economic growth of the city. If there is a reduction in international students, there will be definite changes on the state’s budget and commodities might see a price rise.”
The Economic Costs and Benefits of International Students, a study by global forecaster Oxford Economics for the University of Sheffield, calculates that overseas students generated a net economic benefit to the city of £120.3 million, or around £218 per resident, in 2012-13.
Shruti Kedia and Tymoteusz Chajdas