Study in UK: 7 changes Rishi Sunak government is making and how they will impact Indians

Study abroad consultants say the changes will prevent Indian students from getting into ‘shady’ colleges.

Study Abroad: The UK government is bringing changes to discourage recruitment of students in courses with high dropouts. (Representative image; Source: Abroad: The UK government is bringing changes to discourage recruitment of students in courses with high dropouts. (Representative image; Source:

Pritha Roy Choudhury | July 25, 2023 | 09:31 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Department for Education (DfE) in the United Kingdom has decided to discontinue university degrees which results in high dropout rates and low employment prospects. The DfE in its release said that such programmes leave students with high debts and very low or no income.

As per the plans, the release said, the Office for Students (OfS) will be asked to limit the number of students universities can recruit for such courses. This was announced by the prime minister and education secretary on July 14, 2023.

While a number of low-yielding degree courses will be discontinued, the UK government has announced certain changes and skilling programmes to increase the skilled workforce leading to employability and thereby contributing to the economy of the country.

Akshay Chaturvedi, founder and CEO at Leverage Edu & Fly, said that this is a “student-first move” by the Rishi Sunak government. He added that Leverage Edu has repeatedly “tried to raise their voice against shady courses and colleges”.

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Study in UK: What changes?

These are the broad changes the Office for Students, United Kingdom, will be instructed to make.

Fee reduction

Reduction in the maximum fee that universities can charge for classroom-based foundation year courses. It will be reduced from £9,250 (approximately Rs 9,93,853) at present to £5,760 (Rs 6,18,875).

Drop foundation courses

A year of foundation courses is usually required for study in medicine and veterinary sciences but this has been found to be not necessary for studies in subjects like business. Foundation courses will be discontinued for business.

New T-level vocational courses

New T Level courses will be introduced. The T Levels are equivalent to 3 A Levels (advanced level) or the United Kingdom national curriculum school-leaving qualifications. A T Level will focus on vocational skills only. These skills can help students get into employment, higher study or apprenticeships. Each of these T Levels will include an in-depth 45-day industry placement.

Higher technical qualifications

Higher technical qualifications or HTQs will be emphasised. The approved HTQs are new Level 4 and Level 5 qualifications approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, in the UK. There are different types of HTQs which include:

  • Higher national diplomas

  • Higher national certificates

  • Foundation degrees

  • Higher education diplomas

Both T-Level and HTQ programmes will help in establishing a network of 21 Institutes of Technology (IoTs). The IoTs are collaborations between further education (FE) providers, universities and employers. The employers will be responsible for framing the curriculum of a particular programme and making decisions.

“Indian students mostly opt for STEM [science, technology, engineering, maths] subjects and subjects which teach them about businesses. But there are many who are looking at immigration and opt for the study abroad route,” said Chaturvedi.

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Apprenticeships along with traditional degrees

The Universities and College Admission Service or UCAS will be expanded to allow students to apply for apprenticeships along with traditional degrees. This, the government says, will benefit young people.

Skills training

The UK government will help students and employers with a range of training options to help bridge the skill gaps.

New digital platform

The education department will also launch a new digital platform in autumn this year to help people, students and employers access all information on apprenticeships, T Levels, skill boot camps and courses through a single platform. 100 apprenticeships in sectors like construction and healthcare will be updated.

Suneet Singh Kochar, CEO of study abroad consultancy, Fateh Education, said that with the United Kingdom making it clear it will support in-demand courses leading to better job prospects and introducing more skill-oriented programmes, students will have a clear idea of the courses they should study and which will have better job prospects. “There are a lot of students who are confused about what to take, and whether such courses will be accepted in the United Kingdom or if there will be better job prospects. The recent announcement answers their questions, it is as simple as this,” he said.

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