A New Wave Of Indian Students Now Studying Abroad

Written by Aaliya Shaikh

A piquant and humorous writer with the love to scrawl and create. For me writing is supreme. To believe that I can give words to my thoughts and connect to people through it is extraordinary.

November 14, 2022

India is the country from where most students fly abroad. It may surprise you to find that China and India are the two countries that send the most international students to educational institutions worldwide. Each year, thousands of young people leave India in hopes of enrolling in foreign colleges and succeeding in life. In this guide, we speak about the previous years and how the student population has drastically seen an upsurge. Additionally; which country do these students prefer and the reason for the spike? Once we understand the Indian students going abroad statistics in detail; let us see the forecast for the coming years. Read on to learn everything about the new wave of Indian students going abroad.

Why Are Indian Students Going Abroad?

When we explore the reasons why students choose abroad as a study destination; one of the finest methods to develop global competencies and access personal and professional opportunities is to study abroad. Many students find that studying abroad has changed their lives by introducing them to new cultures and fostering tolerance and understanding. According to research on the more clearly quantifiable effects of studying abroad, students who study abroad perform better academically, experience less attrition, and graduate from college at higher rates than students who do not study abroad.

According to research by the Consortium for Analysis of Student Success (CASSIE) via International Education, students who went abroad had an average GPA of 0.16 points higher and were 6.2% more likely to graduate in four years than those who did not. The data proves that studying abroad has quantifiable benefits & one who learns about the same is bound to choose this option over studying in the home country. 

A Spike In Indian Students Studying Abroad

It’s not a recent fad about Indian students going abroad. A growing number of Indian students are choosing to enrol in international courses, and this trend has grown over time. The enormous advantages of receiving an international education help explain why more and more students are becoming interested in doing so. Check out the primary reasons below:

  • Attractive salary packages (44%)
  • High quality of education (33%)
  • Pursue niche courses (17%)
  • Gain international exposure (6%)

A student’s selection is significantly influenced by both internal elements like career goals and a variety of external conditions outside of their control. Let us see a list of key elements that contribute to shaping students’ decisions. 

  • Healthcare Stands At The Apex

It goes without saying that the worldwide pandemic has had a significant influence on key decisions in people’s lives. Making sure of one’s own safety and well-being is currently everyone’s top priority. Because Covid-19 vaccinations and medical care are readily available in affluent nations, studying abroad has a lot to offer.

According to a recent poll conducted by QS International Student in 2021, 65% of students think Canada is a more desirable destination as a consequence of the way it handled the vaccination distribution, making it the top destination market.

  • A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

The largest number of young adults (ages 18 to 23) is found in India, according to UN Population Prospects. Due to a large number of Indian students going abroad, education will continue to be crucial to the country’s development.

However, because there are so few prestigious institutions offering high-quality education in the nation, domestic applicants will face fierce competition. In contrast, other countries with a range of educational opportunities and comparatively smaller populations allow these individuals to pursue their dream education abroad.

  • Work Opportunities In The Competitive Market

In addition to the information they gain from the programme, many Indian students have found success in job possibilities and practical industrial experience. The key factor for the increase in Indian students going abroad is the success of the work visa programmes provided to international students and graduates.

The information is self-evident. The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PWGPP), Canada’s most well-liked work permit programme, has been very successful with Indian students. The IRCC reports that during the past five years, interest in PGWPP among Indian students has skyrocketed. Between January and September 2021, almost 115,000 Indian students were granted permission to study in Canada, and over the previous five years, more than 95% of Indian PGWPP applicants had their applications approved.

Changes In Destination Preferences That Are Noticeable

An analysis of data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, let us understand how many Indian students go abroad to study every year. The overall number of Indian students studying abroad increased from 66,713 in 2000 to 301,406 in 2016. In 2016 there were 234,693 more students studying abroad than there were in 2000; during the course of 16 years, there has been an average annual growth rate of 22%. The increasing aspirations of Indian students to pursue higher education abroad is a reflection of the rise of high- to middle-income families.

To understand how many Indian students study abroad; recent data by the Ministry of International Affairs noted that in the first three months of 2022, 133,135 students left India to pursue academic opportunities, an increase over 2020 when 259,655 students studied abroad. There were 444,553 Indians in 2021, a growth of 41% overall in just one year.

Reason For The Uprise 

One of the primary causes of the change in the proportion of Indian students going abroad is the pro-immigration policies of Canada and Australia. Indian students are concerned about costs and seek out low-cost solutions that boost their job chances. Therefore, immigration and employment rules have a big impact on the decisions Indian students make. The main goal of Australia’s point-based immigration policy from 1999 onwards was to entice foreign students to apply for permanent residency there. In 2006, Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) was launched. It provided students with the opportunity to earn job experience that will enable them to become eligible for Canadian permanent residency. 

Similarly, the UK launched back the post-study work visa in 2019; it boosted the number marginally & gave Indian students going abroad an opportunity to further their education in this country. 

(Source: oidigitalinstitute)

Key Insights

  • In the US, 78% of Indian students pursue STEM degrees
  • One in three Indian students studied engineering, computer science, or mathematics in the US in 2020–21
  • In 2021, Canada permitted 43,000 Indians to enrol in business and management programmes, up from 11,000 in 2016
  • Between 2016 and 2021, Management and Business increased its market share by 12%

Source: Statista.com

Forecast Of Indian Students Abroad By 2024

Almost 800,000 Indian students were studying abroad as of 2019, according to a 2021 report by RedSeer Strategy Consultants, which also documents the swift expansion of Indians going abroad.

By 2024, that number is expected to grow more than quadruple once more, reaching up to 1.8 million international students, with total spending expected to reach US$75-US$85 billion by that time (a spending outlook that reflects anticipated inflation in tuition fees as well as living expenses).

Prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, India’s population experienced rapid development, and it swiftly rose to the top sender for popular countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. 

According to RedSeer Consulting’s most recent “Higher Education Abroad” study, even as the number of Indian students choosing to pursue higher education abroad rises each year, their yearly outbound spending is expected to increase from $28 billion to $80 billion by 2024.

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