About 42% students who wish to pursue a master’s degree from abroad come from the lowest income group in India which sustains on less than $10,000, an iSchoolConnect report revealed. The dichotomy is believed to be in practice due to change in the mindset of people in terms of investment and government’s efforts to open international avenues for Indian students. “Post the pandemic, the risk taking appetite of Indian families who want their children to study abroad has significantly shifted. Now people don’t see student immigration as brain drain, instead they consider it as development,” Ashish Fernando, founder, iSchoolConnect, told FE Education Online.
The report which studies factors affecting higher education choices among study abroad aspirants in 2022 sampled 1,000 respondents across four geographies including India, Thailand, Africa, and Sri Lanka. Findings of the report revealed the highest number of Indians about 53% wish to go abroad to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses. “This is primarily because people see more career prospects in these fields and rightly so, we are the number one in the IT industry. Most importantly, if a student studies a STEM course in the United States (US) they get to stay back in the country for three years as against one year for non STEM course students to find a job. This makes it a less risky option for many,” Fernando explained.
Furthermore, the report showed that about 44% of Indian respondents depend on recommendations from study abroad consultants to choose their destination country and college/university. However, after the pandemic funding has become the biggest concern for the highest percentage of Indian students. Despite that, the US witnessed record number of Indian students footfall for second time in a row this year, as per an US Embassy statement. Besides, Germany, New Zealand, and Sweden have started to emerge as top preferred designations for study abroad among students, the report showed.
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