For Indian students, Australia, NZ have irresistible appeal | education$higher-studies | Hindustan Times
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For Indian students, Australia, NZ have irresistible appeal

From 40,130 in July 2013 to 60,835 in July 2015, Indian student numbers for Australia are on the rise. New Zealand is not far behind

education Updated: Nov 02, 2016 13:50 IST
As many as 40,561 out of 67,279 students from India as of July 2016 are enrolled in postgraduate programmes in Australia. Seen here, students in Melbourne
As many as 40,561 out of 67,279 students from India as of July 2016 are enrolled in postgraduate programmes in Australia. Seen here, students in Melbourne(ISTOCK)

gauri.kohli@hindustantimes.com

Australia has been stepping up efforts to attract international students, including Indians, and retaining global talent among leading study destinations such as the US, UK and Canada. Research data by overseas education experts suggests that Australia has gone through various phases of growth and innovation to remain competitive in attracting international students.

Both Australia and New Zealand continue to strengthen their position as the top choice for Indian students outside of North America. Australia is the second-favourite choice for Indian students after the US, says the Indian Students Mobility - Latest Trends from India and Globally: MMA (2016) report.

OZ popular among Indians

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training, as of July 2016, there are 67,279 Indian students studying in the country. The numbers have increased in the last few years from 40,130 (July 2013), to 50,709 (July 2014) and 60,835 (July 2015). Australia has cemented its position as the number two destination country now. Both these markets (Australia and New Zealand) continued with their strong growth that kicked off in 2014. Indian student numbers grew by 15%, and in New Zealand it was more than 20% since 2014.

“In both cases, these growth rates from India are higher than their overall international student growth rates. Australia-New Zealand has emerged as a strong option for Indian students in the past 10 years,” says the students’ mobility report.

There was a time – between 2008 and 2010 – when the number of Indian students going to Australia exceeded those opting for the US. One of the reasons is their PG courses being attractive for Indian students. “As many as 40,561 out of 67,279 students from India as of July 2016 are enrolled in postgraduate programmes in the country. The most popular courses for Indian students are in the field of management and commerce; food, hospitality and personal services; engineering and related technologies; and, information technology,” says an Australian government spokesperson.

How much is it going to cost you to study in Australia and New Zealand? (Handout)

Financing too has become easy because of scholarships. Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian government to undertake study, research and professional development. International Postgraduate Research Scholarships enable students to pursue a postgraduate research qualification in the country and gain experience with leading Australian researchers. The 2017 Endeavour Mobility Grants, and Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships have also been announced recently.

Read more: Australia, the most popular study destination

The Australian government is also keen that Indian students join programmes in archaeology, earth and marine sciences, mineral and mining engineering, environmental sciences, nursing, pharmacy and pharmacology, and veterinary science, among others. There are plans to get more Indians into technology, digital, robotics, media and entertainment, scientific research, health, future materials and sports management, says the Australian government spokesperson.

Australia has 40 local universities, a number of specialist tertiary institutions, and more than a 100 education centres accredited by the government to deliver specific courses. Across the different university ranking systems, criteria and fields of study, Australian universities rank high for the quality of their education, student satisfaction ratings, and overall global reputation.

“Australian universities are listed in the Top 100 universities in the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. As per the latest QS Rankings, seven Australian universities are among the top 100 in the world, including Australian National University, which is ranked in the 19 top university in the world. There are eight Australian universities among the world’s top 50 highest performing young universities,” says the ­spokesperson.

What’s unique about New Zealand?

In 2015, New Zealand welcomed more than 29,000 Indian students. The country boasts of impressive academic facilities, wide range of curriculum, and pastoral care for students.

John Laxon, Middle East and acting South Asia regional director at Education New Zealand, says, “New Zealand has an internationally recognised tertiary education system. It is the only country to have all of its universities ranked in the top 3% of the world (QS World University Rankings 2015).

They are leaders in particular fields – Otago University’s dentistry programme is ranked ahead of Harvard, Columbia and the University of Melbourne. Likewise, Massey University’s Veterinary Science programme is 15th in the world, also ahead of other prestigious universities.

Of the approximately 1,400 Indian students enrolled in New Zealand universities in 2015, the biggest group of 43% students is at the honours and master’s levels. About 20% scholars are also studying at the PhD level.

For Indian students in New Zealand, the most popular courses are management and commerce, business, information technology and engineering. However, niche courses in newer disciplines such as sports management, cyber security, aviation, animation and fashion are also gaining popularity. Although these are less established in India, they are emerging markets with good job prospects, says Laxon.

Last year, international education was the largest single item exported from New Zealand to India, with 29,235 Indian students studying at New Zealand institutions. “India is, and will continue to be, an important part of New Zealand’s international education strategy. Currently, however, New Zealand is experiencing a recalibration of its Indian student market as we address the issues of fraud and misrepresentation. As an immediate outcome, we expect student volumes to be down in the 2016/17 financial year. But this will pick up gradually,” says Lexon.

The country has boosted the numbers of scholarships aimed at Indian graduates interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in New Zealand. The New Zealand Excellence Awards (NZEA), announced mid-year, offers partial scholarships to 35 top Indian scholars. The recipients can study graduate and postgraduate programmes at all eight of New Zealand universities in areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and fashion and business-related courses.