The world of the twenty first century is a different world with its technological advancement, innovation in transportation and the communicational revolution as few among its many facets. The world has become interconnected in most revolutionized ways than any of the brilliant minds could possibly have thought of in the ancient times. The behavioral patterns and the interaction among people and nations have, consequently, changed; the world has become a global village as what it is called now. Through the vast network of world wide web since the advent of internet, trade, commerce, banking, shopping and employment have crossed borders and have become internationalized. Education is no exception.
In present time, hundreds and thousands of students cross their borders and equip themselves with the tools of diverse, vast and quality education from different parts of the world. The United Kingdom has many of the world’s best universities and flock of students goes to UK every year. The universities in UK are diverse and multicultural which accommodate and facilitate the international students from different nationalities and cultures. Many undergraduate and post graduate programmes are included in the higher education in UK and according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service in UK more than 430,000 international students come from over one hundred and eighty countries to study there. A number of guides are available to facilitate the international students including International Qualifications guide, Qualification Information Profiles (QIPs), summary of International Examination dates, many translated guides to study in UK and various monthly newsletters. Online services are also available including presentations, videos, events detail and training programmes etc. The compensations in cost of education and hostel/residential facility options are also given to the ease of the international students.
However, despite all these amenities, the number of students going to United Kingdom for higher education is dropping as in 2013, first time in twenty nine years, there was almost a fifty percent drop in the international students coming to UK for post-graduate programmes. There are many reasons for this decline the most pertinent of which is the problem in getting visa because of the strict visa policies and fewer opportunities to work in Britain has made it an unwelcoming place for the students having a middle class background. Many people think that the recruitment in the higher education has become politicized in UK. Moreover, there is an increasing competition in the market of student imported for higher education as many other venues have opened in the countries like Russia, China, Japan and Spain. Even Malaysia has become a new actor in this race where a good number of Asian students, particularly from sub-continent; India and Pakistan, go to Malaysia for an economical higher education.
To conclude, higher education for international students needs to be more complacent with the increasing demands and needs of the students. A good study environment with the opportunity to work and internships should be granted to foreign students without any discrimination. In addition, there needs to be affable policy measures to cope with the challenge of emerging markets for the import of students. Most importantly, there must be a congenial visa policy for students without any political interference.