Macron Invites Indian Students To Study In France, UK Upset
French President, Emmanuel Macron’s persuasive invites to Indian students to choose France as their educational destination has touched a raw nerve with UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. The French President used Brexit for promoting his country among the Indian students by stating that the gates to Europe are now opened to them through France. He made this address on Saturday in New Delhi while being on his India tour.
A clash of words followed between the two of them on social media through their authorized Twitter account. Macron’s declaration of doubling the Indian student numbers to his country led to a direct retort from the UK Foreign Secretary who reminded the French President of UK’s rich educational heritage having four from the list of top-ranked ten universities in the world situated in their country and also recorded the increased number of Indian students entering the country in 2017.
The retort seemed to be a conscious effort on the part of UK to retain its pulling power over foreign students after its exit from EU. This is because foreign students spell big money and with them supporting 200,000 jobs and pouring 25 billion pounds annually into the economy, UK can do nothing less.
In spite of marked increase in grant of student visas to the UK in 2017, the student number opting for UK universities has reduced because the visa approval is apparently seen as being unwelcoming. Britain’s universities are asking the government to stop treating foreign students as immigrants as according to them they are temporary migrants and if their numbers can increase it will be nothing but beneficial for the economy.
Macron has been openly promoting his country before the so called potential temporary student migrants in India besides fixing commercial deals running in 13-billion euros between the two countries during his India visit.
He seems to be using every opportunity to herald his country as the new point of entry to Europe, an honor held by Britain all along up to Brexit.