London: A high-level British delegation will visit India in the next couple of months to assure parents of Indian students planning to study in the UK that the killing of Anuj Bidve in Manchester is a one-off incident.
Professor Eric Thomas, President, Universities UK who will head the delegation told members of the Indian Journalists' Association on Friday: "UK remains one of the best locations for higher education in the world and British Universities are the safest places to come, study and make friends, explore and do research."
Expressing "deep sadness" at the killing of Bidve, the Pune student who was pursuing his post-graduation studies in Microbiology at the Lancaster University, Thomas said, "The death of Anuj is a devastating tragedy for his family and friends and the death of a gifted individual in such a manner is a loss for us all.”
"The British people have been appalled by this terrible event."
Bidve, 21, was murdered on December 26 at Salford as he was proceeding to Manchester along with friends in the early hours.
Thomas said the proposed delegation would include Lord Kamlesh Patel among others and would visit Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi some time towards the end of April or early May this year.
Describing the murder of Bidve as "one off incident", Thomas said it was "perpetrated by a disturbed person" who has been arrested and charged with the murder.
"It was a random attack by a disturbed youngman," he said.
Helen Clews, Account Co-ordinator and Immigration Adviser at the British Council who also addressed the press said, "The British Council would like to reassure current and future Indian students that this kind of act is exceptionally rare in the UK."
She said UK welcomed students from all nationalities, religions and culture.
"Each year, over 534,600 international students including 45,350 Indian students study at the UK universities, colleges and boarding schools and many thousands more come to do short English language courses."
She said "the UK is generally a safe country with low levels of crime compared to other countries. According to British Council's survey conducted in 2010, the majority of international students have not experienced any crime in the UK."
She noted that UK schools, colleges and universities took the safety and well-being of their students very seriously.