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Charting new territories for foreign degree

education Updated: Jul 02, 2014 01:27 IST

Indian students are flying to new shores in the hope of an international degree giving the slip to the traditional favourites — US and UK.

With the tightening of visa rules in the UK and the economic slowdown in the US, students from the country are exploring other European and South Asian countries, said an Assocham report.

Singapore, France, Canada and Germany are emerging as new education destinations for Indians.

The Assocham report says that Norway, Malaysia, China are also attracting students from India. “There are several factors behind the exodus of Indian students to foreign countries. Scholarships availability, possibility of good saving after expenditure and high employability after the degree are some of them,” said DS Rawat, secretary general, Assocham.

Experts cite low tuition fees and affordable living expenses, global exposure, cultural experiences and internship and placement opportunities, etc, as some reasons to explain the interest in studies abroad among young Indians.

The number of students travelling abroad for higher education has risen by 15%-20%, the Assocham study says.

“The recent years have witnessed a change in student mobility worldwide. Besides the conventional destinations of higher education, students are seeking newer ones in Europe as well as Asia.

Stringent visa regulations, limited or non-existent employment opportunities in the host-country after graduation and social threats in the traditionally popular destinations are some of the factors behind the changing trend,” said Christiane Schlottmann, director, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), regional office, New Delhi.

There are over 7,500 Indian students registered at German universities — an increase of 114.2% over the number in 2008. Close to 80% of Indian students go to Germany for higher studies in science and engineering.

There are some subject-wise favourites too. For design and fashion, the most desired destinations for Indian students are Italy and France. For hospitality management, students prefer Switzerland and Australia. Russia is among the favourites for those seeking to study medicine and technical courses. “As many as 90% of Indian students prefer to enroll for medical courses and the rest for courses in aviation and engineering,” said Dr Dinesh Singla, director, Rus Education.

Finland is also emerging as a key destination for Indian students. In 2012, there were 639 Indian students in Finland.

According to Statistics Finland — the national statistical institution — Indian students mostly took up courses in engineering and natural sciences. Postgraduate degrees and research are also popular among Indian students.