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"Pardes"​ calling!

Published on April 9, 2021

by Rachna Grewal, On Point Education Advisory

Why are Indian students heading to foreign shores in pursuit of a higher education degree and what are the factors determining their destination?

In 2020, applications received by Delhi University increased by 37% over 2019. The cut-offs hovered around the 99% mark making admission chances even for the high achieving students appear bleak. Though many private universities have cropped up in India, the burden of securing admissions to these educational establishments remains as much of a challenge. Institutions like  Ashoka University Krea University O P Jindal Global University are just some of the popular colleges that aspire to offer the holistic experience characteristic of overseas institutions. Their efforts remain a drop in the ocean as over 20 million domestic students seek admission to college every year. Studying abroad becomes a favored option for Indian students with the financial means and the desire to develop intellectually, socially, and professionally.

Students are spoiled for choice while shortlisting colleges as there are many premier educational institutions across the globe. Before embarking on this journey, it is important to ask some questions that will help align the long-term goals with the higher education destination. 

A student committed to an academic field or intending to pursue medicine or law would find the UK a good fit. The UK allows for direct entry to the medical and law programs whereas, in the US, a student has to complete four years of undergraduate studies before embarking on a professional degree in these fields. The US remains a preferred destination for those wanting to explore academic options or follow a non-traditional path. A US liberal arts education adds considerable value as employers are looking to hire those who bring a broad view of the world to the table. 

As the value of the Indian rupee falls in comparison to the dollar and other currencies, another factor that becomes an important consideration is the financial outlay required to get the educational qualification. A three-year stint in the UK or even a four-year experience in Canada rings up a lower tuition and boarding bill than a four-year stay in the US. While there are scholarships to be found, they are few and far in between and even then may not cover the entire cost. Many European higher education institutions score high points as they are nearly not as hard on the pocket as their American counterparts. 

An education in the UK, Singapore, Canada, and other European countries is not only more cost-effective than the US, but may also be tempting in terms of employment and immigration opportunities. The US offers 1-3 years of Optional Practical Training (OPT) depending on the degree one graduates with. For those who are looking for long-term opportunities, countries like Canada and Australia are a better bet with their liberal immigration policies. 

These are just some considerations that students need to keep in mind as they leave behind domestic shores for foreign destinations in search of quality education.

To get insight into all things college application-related, reach out to  On Point Education Advisory and get the personalized attention you deserve! Connect with us on  LinkedIn  or  Instagram .

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