Cable India-bound to resolve student visa issues

Also to tackle ethnic diversity at top of British companies

Rupanjana Dutta Tuesday 07th October 2014 11:49 EDT

Britain's Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable, will be visiting India from Friday 10 October till Wednesday 15 October, to resolve visa issues for Indian students, wanting to study in Britain.

While the number of Chinese students have gone up, the number of Indian students see a sharp decline after closing down the post work study visa scheme. According to a report earlier this year, the number of Indian students fell from 18,535 in 2010-11 to 13,250 in 2011-12 and further to 10,235 in 2012/13. In 2010-11 the number of Pakistani students was 4,580, but this fell by 38% to 2,825 in 2012/13.

Delivering a speech at the Sarat Bose Memorial lecture at Lincoln's Inn, earlier last month, Dr Cable reportedly told the media that there was tension between his Ministry and the Home Ministry over visa rules.

"There is quite a lot of tension. It is an ideological tussle between the Coalition partners," said Dr Cable.

He further said the Lib Dem party believes in an open and welcoming approach to international students and further added that there was deep disagreement in the Coalition on this aspect.

Students aspire to study in Britain for better exposure and quality education. After tackling the rampant increase in bogus colleges, the Tory government axed the number of foreign students under immigration curb, by introducing strict student bonds and dissolving the PSW scheme.

Discussing this, Dr Cable explained that the student visa has been tightened, but there is a perception issue in India that Britain no longer welcomes students, which is not true at all. It is believed that he is making a special visit to India principally to address this issue, amongst other possible agenda.

Dr Cable also to tackle ethnic diversity at top of British companies

Rt Hon Vince Cable is preparing to launch a campaign to increase the number of ethnic minorities at the top of British FTSE companies. Currently one in ten employed people are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) - yet only 1 in 16 of top management positions are held by BAME people.

On the eve of launching the British Black Business awards in East London on Thursday (2 October) Cable revealed he is in discussions with Lenny Henry and former Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips about starting a new business-led campaign.

Commenting, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Ethnic minorities are seriously under-represented with just one in sixteen senior management jobs occupied by ethnic minorities.

“Real progress has been made given that the number of women on FTSE 100 boards now stands at 22% and I now want to deliver the same message on ethnic minority representation.

“A campaign will emphasise that improving diversity is good for business, not just for political correctness”.

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