The number of Indian students studying abroad has increased substantially in recent years. A RedSeer report predicts that by 2024, 1.8 million Indians would have spent $85 billion on education abroad. The majority of them are drawn to top colleges and prospects for international careers. It’s interesting to note that Gen Z’s are driven by “self-dependence” and “live life on their own terms.” As Covid-19 limitations are relaxed in Australia, the UK, and the US, the numbers are anticipated to increase.
A recent survey by INTO University Partnerships found that 76% of Indian students are considering studying abroad with the intention of finding employment and relocating abroad once they have earned their foreign degree. Similarly, according to recent research on worldwide migration patterns by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Indians studying in economically developed nations are the most likely of all foreign students to stay back in their host country and join the local labour force.
Let’s examine the facts and trends in education related to Indian students studying abroad.
How many Indian students travel overseas each year to study?
In 2022, over 6.5 lakh Indian students travelled abroad to seek higher education, according to information provided in Parliament by the Union education department. Between 2017 and 2019, the number of students who travelled abroad to study increased significantly, from 4.54 lakh to 5.86 lakh. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, caused a drop by 50% to 2.59 lakh in 2020. In 2021, about 4.4 lakh Indians pursued higher education abroad. The data also revealed that the majority of Indian students favoured Canada, the USA, and the UK for degree-granting programmes.
Data presented in Loksabha during Budget Session in February 2023
Why do Indian students prefer to study abroad?
When it comes to students enrolling in abroad programmes, India comes in second to China. In addition to intriguing research prospects, the majority of nations provide international students the option of staying behind on their visas to look for employment. Exposure to multiculturalism is the main attraction, among the other elements stated below:
- Attractive pay (44%)
- High educational standards (33%)
- Take up specialty courses (17%)
- Obtain exposure on a global scale (6%)
What states in India send the most students abroad?
- Andhra Pradesh (12%)
- Punjab (12%)
- Maharashtra (11%)
- Gujarat (8%)
- Tamil Nadu (7%)
- Karnataka (5%)
What are the most popular destinations for Indian overseas students?
1.09 million Indian students were enrolled in 85 different countries as of January 2021. They favour primarily anglophone countries.
Data Presented in Rajya Sabha by Ministry of External Affairs in March 2022
According to the statement laid by Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State, Ministry of Education in Loksabha during the budget session The University Grants Commission (UGC) announced new regulations that will permit international universities to establish campuses in India for the first time with the freedom to choose their own admission policies and tuition rates. According to the proposed regulations, international colleges having campuses in the nation may only provide full-time programmes in the offline form, not via online or distance education.
To establish its campuses in India, Foreign Higher Education Institutions (FHEIs) must receive approval from the UGC. The initial approval will be granted for 10 years, and it will be renewed in the ninth year if specific requirements are met. These institutions must not provide any study programme that risks India’s national interests or the quality of higher education offered here. The commission has suggested maintaining the fees “fair and transparent” even if these universities will be free to choose their admission standards and fee schedule.
According to topic experts and students, many people who view foreign degrees as a stepping stone for immigration to another nation may not like Indian campuses of foreign universities. Many academics and students who want to study abroad believe that studying in a foreign university is much more than about just earning an international degree.