"there is a significant rise in the number of Indian academics"
Latest figures have shown a significant increase in the number of Indian academics hired at UK universities.
According to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), over 400 Indian experts in various disciplines have been recruited during a four-year period.
Between 2014-15, there were 2,195 academic staff of Indian nationality. That number increased to 2,620 in 2017-18.
Experts from fields such as engineering, medicine and mathematics have been recruited by UK universities to teach and conduct research.
Figures from HESA also include several who came to the UK as postgraduate students and went on to join faculties.
The survey highlighted the disciplines with the largest number of Indian staff.
This includes engineering and technology (675), biological, mathematical and physical sciences (665), medicine, dentistry and health (565) and social studies (265).
The increase in the recruitment of Indian experts has been the highest in the biological, mathematical and physical sciences disciplines: from 530 in 2014-15 to 665 in 2017-18.
The significant increase in the number of Indian university staff reflects their talents. This is beneficial for UK universities as it shows recognition towards talent from other countries.
Diversity within university allows people to relate to others from different cultural backgrounds.
The increase in numbers highlights the vast amount of talent that there is in other countries within certain disciplines.
According to the HESA figures, there is a huge pool of talent in India who specialise in engineering and technology. As a large number are already employed in UK universities, it is possible that many more will become part of the faculty.
The significant increase in the number of Indian university staff reflects their talent. However, it may also mean that there is a decline in talent in some disciplines in the UK and Europe.
To recruit a non-EU expert or professional, employers must carry out a ‘resident labour market test.’
This is to demonstrate that there are no suitable candidates in the UK and Europe for the position advertised in at least two notices.
The experts with Indian citizenship are part of a larger group categorised as “British India”. This includes British citizens of Indian origin.
In 2017-18, the category included 5,600 academic staff employed in almost every UK university.
According to the HESA figures, Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, King’s College London, Imperial College and the University of Manchester have the highest number of Indian-origin academics.
Many of these universities are research-intensive where Indian academics are preferred.
This is due to their “single-mindedness, competitiveness, resilience and work centrality,” as well as their links with Indian institutions and knowledge of the country.
According to a study conducted by experts at Warwick Business School and Nottingham University Business School, they found Indian academics are “singled out for jobs over other candidates.”
This is partly due to their willingness to “play the game” of prioritising research over teaching.
These facts have suggested that while there is a significant rise in the number of Indian academics, it is possible that many of them are researchers as opposed to lecturers.