Indian Students Looking At Overseas Education For Developing New Skills, Gain Practical Knowledge: Report
Western Union’s report ‘Overseas Education, An Evolving Journey’, with responses from 241 Indian students, also observes that overseas education is being seen as a “preparatory school” for developing a well-rounded personality.
At least nine in every 10 students believe that overseas education will help them develop new skills and gather practical knowledge, notes a new report by an international financial services company.
Western Union’s report ‘Overseas Education, An Evolving Journey’, with responses from 241 Indian students, also observes that overseas education is being seen as a “preparatory school” for developing a well-rounded personality. In fact, 45 per cent of prospective students prioritise “self-dependence” and living life on their own terms as a key reason to look at overseas education.
Indian students, the report observes, are increasingly seeking overseas education to get better exposure, interact with different people and understand different cultures. “Overall, the goals centred around personal growth and experiences took precedence over materialistic goals such as buying a house or car,” the report adds.
Nevertheless, material benefits like enhanced job opportunities, enriched lifestyles and better infrastructure facilities also continue to attract Indian students. Postgraduate work opportunities, as per the report, are an important factor for students looking to gain a foreign degree.
Indian students are now looking beyond high-ranking institutions like Ivy Leagues, with 70 per cent of prospective students preferring better methods of teaching than reputation of a university. In addition, off-beat courses like game designing and ecotechnology are gaining popularity among students. With digital technology gaining wider acceptance during the Covid-19 pandemic, courses like automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science and Robotics are getting popular too.
Overseas education has for long been aspirational for young Indians. Data backs the trend: From 3.16 lakh students in 2016 to 5.88 lakh students in 2019. The year 2020, coinciding with the Covid-19 pandemic, did see a dip in the number of students. But the pandemic has also given rise to a tech-enabled hybrid model of education, with 46 per cent of the respondents preferring such a model. Another major trend the report observes is the increasing popularity of non-English speaking destinations like Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia and China.
“European institutions are actively seeking to attract Indian students with language training and the launch of new English-dominant programs. It’s becoming easier for Indians to pursue educational opportunities in different European nations. These nations also provide high quality education at more affordable prices,” writes Soumitra Dutta, Professor and Former Founding Dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, in the foreword.