Global Education Trends Among Indians

Thursday, Jul 26

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Indian students developed an inclination in education overseas to keep them abreast with the international education standards and hone their skills to be universally employable. Owing to this the Indian “Study Abroad” market grew in leaps and bounds. With the India’s outbound student mobility rocketing past an unimaginable mark, India has reinforced its emergence as one of the top source countries for international students. 

Growth in the Number of Indian Students Studying Overseas 

At present, more than five million students across the world are studying outside their native country, with India sharing a high proportion of international students. It is estimated that approximately 400,000 Indian students will enrol in foreign universities by 2024. 

These growing figures show that India, the second most important country in international student number after China, has become a leading player in the international student market. 

The best countries to study abroad as per majority of the Indian students are US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These five countries alone cover nearly 85% of the total students from India studying in international study destinations. 

Many other countries also have seen Indian student enrolments grow at a fast pace. 

Key Elements Influencing Indian Enrolments Abroad 

Let’s take a look at the key elements influencing Indian enrolments in several countries, including Canada, the U.K., Australia, China, New Zealand, Germany, and the US. 

Canada- A Strong Pull for Indian Students 

A growing inclination in Indian students to study in Canada is obvious owing to the following reasons 

  • Ethnically Diverse 
  • Peaceful and Safe 
  • Reputable Higher Education System 
  • Less Expensive than the U.S. 
  • Canada’s Liberal Immigration Policies 

Australia- The 2nd Preferred Destination for Outbound Indian Students 

Australia’s efforts to overcome the perception that it is an unsafe study destination especially among the Indians appear to have paid off. These perceptions had led to falling enrolments between 2009 and 2013 but now the country is the number two destinations for Indian students who want to study in Australia and the student enrolments are growing at a fast pace.

The United Kingdom- A High and Low Curve 

The number of Indian students who enrolled in UK declined due to anti-immigrant sentiments and the new visa policies. 

But of late we’ve observed that despite the high cost and tightening visa controls, the figures of number of Indians who desire to study in UK are increasing because of 

  • The International recognition of higher education in the U.K. 
  • India-based recruitment campaign and scholarship program unveiled by the UK in 2016 aiming to give a boost to Indian enrolments in the U.K. institutions. 

New Zealand- A Higher Growth Rate of Inbound Indian Students 

Indian students seeking pathways to employment and residency are driven to study in New Zealand by the ease of obtaining student visas and its post-study work opportunities. Though in many cases, New Zealand is not most Indian students’ top-ranked location, the trans-portability of New Zealand academic credential to other British and commonwealth education systems makes it a leading backup choice. 

Germany- A Slight Upward Trend Among Indian Students 

The recent pick up in Indian enrolments on German campuses can be attributed to a few key factors like: 

  • Germany’s International Reputation for high quality scientific research and higher education 
  • A significant increase in the number of master’s programs taught in English 
  • Free tuition for foreign students in Germany, a particular attraction for India students looking forward to study in Germany. 

China- Appeal to Indian students 

  • Increasing government scholarships 
  • Expansion of joint degree programs 
  • Engagement of prestigious foreign partners – such as New York University, Duke University and University of Nottingham 
  • Inexpensive Medical Education 
  • Proximity and cost 

These are seemingly added aspects in Indian students’ interest to study in China

The U.S.- An Unparalleled Choice 

The U.S. is as always an unparalleled study abroad choice for Indians, however, the other emerging destinations have their own strengths, which might ultimately bring forth significant variations in the Indian student mobility patterns. Indian students may increasingly see the emerging student destinations as a viable option in particular owing to the following aspects: 

  • National strategies to develop the international education sector 
  • The current political climate 
  • Clear study to immigration pathways in Canada, Australia and New Zealand 
  • Most countries other than the U.K., and Australia, are more affordable than the United States 
  • More and more English-taught programs become available in other destinations 
  • The surge and decline of Indian students for higher education abroad depends on the various aspects highlighted above

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