68% rise in students going abroad in 2022, Parliament told
The number of students going overseas has increased by a significant 68% in comparison to 444,553 students going abroad in 2021, the data showed
Indian students going abroad for higher education recorded a six-year high in 2022 at 750,365, according to the education ministry data submitted in Parliament on Monday.
Responding to a question by Lok Sabha members Rajiv Ranjan Singgh, Santosh Kumar and Dinesh Chandra Yadav on the increasing number of Indian students choosing to go abroad for higher education, junior education minister Subhash Sarkar provided this data in a written response.
The number of students going overseas has increased by a significant 68% in comparison to 444,553 students going abroad in 2021, the data showed. The number of students choosing to study abroad showed a significant rise from 454,009 in 2017 to 517,998 in 2018 and 586,337 in 2019. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the number fell by half, declining to 259,655 in 2020, the ministry data showed.
There was no gauge to capture the category of Indians going abroad for higher education, Sarkar clarified. “Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs maintains departure and arrival data of Indians… Purpose of Indians going abroad for higher education is captured manually based either on their verbal disclosure or the type of visa of the destination country produced by them at the time of immigration clearance,” the minister said.
Responding to a query on whether the government has any plan to establish an international university of high standard to save the outflow of funds, Sarkar said that the University Grants Commission has already drafted enabling regulations to facilitate establishment of campuses of foreign higher educational institutions in India.
“The draft University Grants Commission (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions In India) Regulations, 2023 was placed in the public domain, vide public notice dated 5th January, 2023, seeking feedback, suggestions, comments etc. from all the stakeholders by 18th January, 2023. However, in view of the requests received from the stakeholders, the last date for receiving comments on the draft Regulations has been extended till 20th February, 2023,” he said.
Reacting to the development, UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said that globally more students are migrating to foreign countries for education. “Therefore, not just for Indian students but globally, the migration of students is on the rise. In 2014, there were about 200 million students in higher education institutions globally.”
“By 2030, this number is going to double. A significant percentage of these students is going to be Indians. In addition to looking for study opportunities in the best Indian institutes, they will also go abroad for higher studies,” he said.
Kumar said that inviting foreign universities to set up their campuses in India is not aimed at reducing the number of students who go abroad. “It is their free choice, and they will continue to go for the experience of working in a different country and the subsequent job opportunities abroad. However, the foreign university campuses set up in India through the UGC regulation will provide an additional choice to the students who like to live in India but access high-quality education from a foreign university,” he said.