There are many factors that come into play to influence the decision of students looking to study abroad. Indian students choosing to study abroad isn’t a new trend. Indian national leaders like MK Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhabhai Patel, and Muslim League leader M. A. Jinnah from Gujarat (then Bombay Province) went to study Law in England.
Enrolling in international studies is a popular and well-accepted journey for many Indian students that has increased with time. The tremendous benefits of pursuing an international education have contributed to the rise.
Various external circumstances beyond a student’s control and internal factors like a student’s career goal, all play an important role in shaping a student’s decision. A student’s plans and hopes for post-graduation will impact where they choose to study.
They could be interested in just the short-term opportunity to experience a new culture or they could be interested in getting access to a unique program to further their job prospects. Their future plans could be long-term and they could plan to build a home at their destination studying abroad.
The latter leads to several additional considerations, such as how open the country is to immigration, what the process is like to obtain permanent residency and how the country supports international students. These are only a few of the details that shape a student’s decision-making process.
Here are a few key factors that contribute to Indian students seeking to study abroad:
Health is more important now
The global pandemic plays a critical role in dictating important life choices. Right now, everyone’s first priority is to ensure their safety and well-being. There is a strong appeal to study internationally because of the availability of Covid-19 vaccines and medical assistance in developed countries.
Students who are in the process of enrolling in a new school programme are looking at new factors like how countries are responding and managing the pandemic. How a specific country leads vaccine rollouts directly affects students’ attraction to them as study destinations.
A recent 2021 survey from QS International Student confirmed 65 percent of students see Canada as a more attractive destination as a result of how it has handled the vaccine rollout, ranking first among top destination markets.
This is an especially important factor to consider if the student is interested in pursuing permanent residency after their studies and starting a new life in the country.
According to UN Population prospects, India is home to the largest population of young adults (aged 18 to 23) worldwide. This means that India has a massive population of young adults and education will continue to play an important role in the nation’s growth.
However, the number of top colleges providing quality education in the country is limited and domestic applicants can expect a lot of competition. In comparison, foreign nations with relatively smaller populations and a variety of education options allow these students to pursue their dream education overseas.
There are many destination countries that offer bursaries, scholarships, and other attractive incentives like work permit opportunities for international students. These are all strong factors that attract Indian students.
These opportunities, too, play a critical role in aiding student decisions who will obviously want to be part of an institution that offers them such meaningful opportunities.
Quality of education and work opportunities
Completing a university or college degree overseas can be very beneficial for a student’s career trajectory. The quality of education and the number of career opportunities that arise are two driving factors that help a student make a decision on where to study abroad.
Many Indian students have found success, not only with the knowledge they obtain from the program but also with work opportunities and real-world industry experience.
The experience Indian students gain from employment in foreign countries has tremendous value for future employers and helps students avoid the excessive competition that is seen across the Indian employment landscape.
The success of work permit programs available to international students and graduates is the main driver that contributes to the rise of Indian students studying overseas.
The data speaks for itself. Canada’s most popular work permit program, the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PWGPP), has had a lot of success among the Indian student population. According to the IRCC, there’s been an explosion of interest in PWGPP from Indian students over the past five years.
There were nearly 115,000 Indian students who were approved to study in Canada from January to September 2021 and Indian PGWPP applicants had a greater than 95% approval rate over the past five years.
This success indicates the positive journey that awaits future students if they also choose to pursue studies in Canada. Additional opportunities like this are also found in other destinations like the United Kingdom and the United States, providing students with a range of options.
Another factor is the success and experience of the alumni of a specific institution. Students rely on the recommendation and track record of previously graduated students to decide where they will complete their studies.
Building recommendations for a resume and industry connections are invaluable for a student graduate who is in the process of building a graduate’s career and professional network.
Selecting an institution for higher education is indeed one of the most critical decisions an individual will face. The lifestyle and employment of an individual are largely tied to the quality of education they have gained. Thus, this decision must be taken after much consideration and deliberation.