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  • Indian Students Flock to International Unis in Search of Quality Education and Opportunities Abroad

    Published on April 5, 2023

    Despite the expansion of foreign university campuses in India, a record number of Indian students are studying abroad.

    Following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Indian students enrolled in international universities increased dramatically in 2022, reaching over 750,000 or a 69% increase from 2021. Factors such as limited job opportunities, low quality, high tuition fees, and difficulty obtaining student loans in India have contributed to this increase.

    Experts predict that the trend will continue even as the government makes it easier for foreign universities to establish campuses in India following the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

    Students from India Seeking Quality Education Abroad

    The University Grants Commission (UGC) announced in January that foreign universities could now establish campuses in India, a move that is expected to revolutionize the Indian education sector. Despite this trend, Indian students continue to flock abroad for higher education, with numbers currently standing at over 1.09 million Indian students studying in 85 countries and India ranking second to China.

    According to recent government statistics, the number of Indian students studying abroad in 2022 will be 750,365, up from 444,553 in 2021. Analysts attribute this expansion to a variety of factors, including pent-up demand due to Covid-19 restrictions and an overall increase in the number of students seeking education abroad over the years.

    “The significant increase in the number of Indian students studying abroad highlights their desire for quality education, as well as better career and life opportunities,” said Sanjay Laul, CEO and Founder of education management company M Square Media (MSM). “This trend is likely to persist as more students recognize the value of international exposure and a diverse educational experience.”

    Reasons for the Increased Preference for International Education

    Factors such as fierce competition at top universities, high fees, and poor education quality in many Indian institutions drive Indian students to seek education abroad. In Indian society, studying abroad is often viewed as a symbol of prestige and privilege, a sentiment that dates back to colonial times.

    “It’s not only about attaining prestigious degrees but also having better career prospects and the opportunity to migrate,” Laul explained. “There’s also the noble purpose of bringing much-needed skills and know-how home when they return to India, whether as part of the academia or the workforce.”

    The Importance of Post-Study Work Visas and Future Prospects

    Countries that provide post-study work visas, such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, have become popular among Indian students. These visas allow international students to work for a set period after graduation, allowing them to gain work experience and advance their careers.

    According to a report by Red Seer Strategic Consultants in Bengaluru, the number of Indian students choosing to study abroad will reach 1.8 million by 2024. This upward trend is expected to continue as more students recognize the benefits of international education, such as improved job opportunities and networking opportunities.

    “Indian educational institutions must learn from this trend and strive to improve the quality of education, infrastructure, and job opportunities for students within the country; only then will we be able to bridge the gap and ensure that our students have access to a world-class education at home,” Laul added.

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