Coronavirus impact: As Indians choose foreign courses, international applications in domestic varsities drop

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Published: July 27, 2020 3:12 PM

JK Lakshmipat University has not yet received any confirmed foreign students this year, in a stark contrast to the hundred of applicants it usually gets every year.

Among the least affected universities is Noida-based Amity University.Among the least affected universities is Noida-based Amity University.

Coronavirus impact on education: Students in India continue to choose pursuing foreign degrees! This trend is evident despite government’s efforts to highlight India as the educational destination for foreign students, according to a report in IE. During the admission freeze in foreign universities, Indian students are preferring courses that allow them to study abroad later in the course, or provides them with the prospect of global internships. As against this, the applications of foreign students in Indian universities fell sharply.

The report quoted Ansal University Dean International Relations and National Association for Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA) member Jacob John said that there was always an imbalance between Indian students going abroad and foreign students coming to India for studies. He added that students who wish to study abroad can avail the Vande Bharat facility with study destinations like New Zealand, the UK and even the US having resumed issuance of student visas. Moreover, in some cases, these visas are being issued for later semesters since initial classes are starting online. But, he added, India has not started such facilities yet and Indian universities have also not received any clear guidelines so far, which is causing uncertainty. This had led to several foreign students considering alternatives, even if they had enquired with Indian universities earlier, he said.

The report stated that while higher government institutes have always found it challenging to get applications from sufficient numbers of foreign students, in a stark contrast, private universities receive hundreds of such applications, which brings diversity to the campus and also acts as a good financial resource. However, this year, even the private universities have received very few international applications, the report stated.

JK Lakshmipat University has not yet received any confirmed foreign students this year, in a stark contrast to the hundred of applicants it usually gets every year. The report quoted University Vice-Chancellor RL Raina as saying that while foreign applicants have declined, the number of Indian applications to the university this year has increased. He said that there was an overall 37% increase in Indian students’ applications, with the university witnessing a 20% increase in applications for its two-year master’s programme with the University of Massachusetts this year as compared to the previous one. He attributed this increase to the programme’s model of spending the first year in India and the second in the US, saying that this is an alternative for students who wish to study abroad without having to compromise on their dream due to the pandemic.

The report stated that the OP Jindal Global University, with its 250 foreign university partnerships, claimed that while it received a lower number of international applications, it saw a spike of around 30% from domestic students. It did not inform, however, if the rise would be leveraged for its international partnerships.

Among the least affected universities is Noida-based Amity University. Still, it has only received 350 foreign applications so far this year, as against 500 applications by this time last year. The report said that even for Amity, there is a spike in the Global Program Study which gives students the option to switch over to a foreign partner university through credit transfers.

International admissions: Relaxations and scholarships

The report said that universities are offering several lucrative incentives to international students in order to fill in their foreign seats. As an example, Lovely Professional University (LPU) is offering more scholarships to international students.

LPU Additional Director Aman Mittal was quoted by the report as saying that they saw an increase of 40% inquiries and applications this year. He added that due to the pandemic, many Indian students who wanted to go and study abroad are now seeking admission to Indian institutes that have tie-ups with foreign institutes, so that they would be able to pursue their dream and get global exposure without having to waste a year.

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