By Pranav Saxena
India, the fastest-growing major economy of the world in contemporary times, is considered to be going through one of the crucial phases of its economic development- the phase of demographic dividend. This huge dividend (young population) aspires to attain the best education and employment opportunities across the world, which has been made possible by general and Indian specific steps undertaken by the nations around the world to incentivise and contribute towards the holistic development of the students.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (US), Australia, Canada are the most lucrative education destinations for Indians. The data from the ministry of external affairs highlights an increasing trend of Indian students aligned to study from abroad but the above countries take precedence over other nations. This biased trend is due to the policies and steps undertaken by these governments to make education accessible, affordable, and secure for the international student in general and is skewed towards Indians in particular.
UAE has grown to be one of the most preferred destinations for Indian students in the last 5 years, as it attracts 2,19,000 Indian students to pursue their intellectual development by ensuring a huge advantage in terms of- cultural affinity, less travel time to India, relatively lower tuition and living expenses, post-study work rights and ease of doing business. The Extravagant and tax-free Dubai provides immense development opportunities due to its laissez-faire policy system that has provided the highest returns to the student not only in terms of Intellect but also in terms of employment and relatively large amount of remuneration back home.
The UK has been a popular destination as highlighted by the trends – out of 3,95,630 Non-EU students 52,545 are from India. The new international student-friendly post-study work regulation introduced in 2020/21, allows talented graduates an extended period of two years for employment opportunities and is also deliberating about reducing visa fees and making the visa- process easier for Indian students. It attracts such a huge Cohort of international students due to the plethora of world-class universities -Oxford and Cambridge among others-and innovative teaching methods and above all the grandeurs of innovations, discovery, art, and culture add appeal to it.
The USA which is the world’s most developed economy and has the most Nobel laureates in the world, with 33 universities in the top 100 of the world including the famous IVY League Institutions, the Indian diaspora constitutes the second-largest academic community in the US, supporting a huge cultural diversity which experienced a decline during Trump era is trying to come back in business with vibrant campus life and the plethora of self-development opportunities as Bill administration announces reforms which allow students with STEM with more work options and has also prompted administration grant traveling exemptions, relaxing visa requirements, like waving in-person interviews to speed up visa process among others to attract Indian students.
Australia has been developing as the new hotspot for the aspiring Indian students which constitutes the second largest( 92,383) cohort of students due to student-friendly visa system coupled with attractive employment opportunities and the second-best country in terms of quality of life. The Australian government is incentivising Visa, by waiving visa fees on arrival in Australia for foreign students and increasing post-study work visa duration from two years to six years contingent on qualification has been highly appreciated by the Indian diaspora.
Canada has a massive appeal among students for higher education. Canada, with its ultra student-friendly policies as it announced full 400,000 PR spots which are in immense favor of Indian students as currently, three out of 10 UG students and five out of 10 PG students are granted but with the increase in PR Canada is likely to feature in one of the topmost choices of Indian students. Coupled with a plethora of scholarship schemes
Technology and education have evolved many folds during contemporary circumstances, but the education system has transformed exponentially with the involvement of technology. Many organisations and ed-tech startups have been established to be the support system of students who aspire to study abroad by tying up with foreign universities to fulfill the abroad aspirations of the student in trying times. Such consonance between tech and education is the way to trace new methods as systems evolve with time.
The author is co-founder, the WorldGrad.