A lot of students from our country travel abroad for their higher education. In your opinion, why do some students prefer higher education from foreign countries?
Quality of Education
India has a large population, which creates strong competition among millions of students for their dream courses and ideal employment.Securing admission from foreign universities is comparatively easier for some students.
Securing admission for higher education in India can be a challenging process for several reasons. India has a large population and a limited number of seats available in higher education institutions, making the competition for admission very high. For example, in 2020, over 1.5 million students applied for just 62,000 seats in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
India has a reservation system that sets aside a certain percentage of seats for students from specific categories, such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). While this policy aims to increase access to education for underprivileged students, it can create more competition for the remaining seats, especially in highly sought-after institutions.
Many higher education institutions in India require students to pass a competitive entrance exam to gain admission, such as the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for engineering, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical courses, and the Common Admission Test (CAT) for management programs. These exams can be very challenging, and students may need to prepare for months or even years to secure a high enough score to gain admission.
Many private higher education institutions in India charge high fees, making it difficult for students from low-income backgrounds to afford the cost of education. Even in public institutions, fees have been rising steadily over the years, making education less accessible to some students.
Despite the large number of institutions in India, the quality of education can be uneven, with some institutions offering better facilities, faculty, and resources than others. Students may struggle to find institutions that meet their needs and offer the level of education they are looking for.
The admission process in India can be bureaucratic and time-consuming, with students needing to navigate multiple steps and processes to secure admission. This can be especially difficult for students from remote or rural areas who may not have access to the necessary resources or information.
Students who have exceptional academic records with high GPAs and SAT or ACT scores may have a better chance of admission into highly ranked foreign universities. For example, students with a GPA of 3.8 or higher and an SAT score of 1400 or higher may be competitive applicants.
Standardized test scores: Many highly ranked foreign universities require standardized test scores such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT. Good test scores can increase a student’s chances of admission.
Students who are fluent in the language of instruction may have a better chance of admission into highly ranked foreign universities. For example, students who are proficient in English may be more competitive applicants for universities in the United States or the United Kingdom.
Participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, volunteer work, or leadership positions can demonstrate a student’s well-roundedness and increase their chances of admission. For example, universities in the United States may give preference to student-athletes or students who have volunteered extensively. Therefore, students with an average academic performance with exceptional abilities get a better chance in securing admissions abroad.
Students who have relevant work experience in a field related to their intended program of study may have a better chance of admission into highly ranked foreign universities. For example, students who have worked in a relevant industry before applying to a business or engineering program may be more competitive applicants.
Highly ranked foreign universities often strive to create diverse student bodies, so students from underrepresented regions or backgrounds may have a better chance of admission. For example, universities in Canada or Australia may give preference to students from developing countries or indigenous communities.
Cost of Education is an important aspect for students travelling abroad. If you don’t have sufficient money, apply for some international scholarships and take loans for higher studies abroad. If you don’t have sufficient money, you should apply to some cost effective places such as Germany and Canada.
Many universities abroad offer scholarships and financial aid to international students, which can help cover tuition fees, accommodation expenses, and living costs. For example, the University of Oxford in the UK offers several scholarships specifically for Indian students, such as the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarship and the Rhodes Scholarship.
Fulbright Scholarship is awarded to international students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in the United States.
Erasmus Mundus Scholarship is available to international students who want to study in Europe. Chevening Scholarship is awarded to students from developing countries who wish to pursue a master’s degree in the United Kingdom. Australia Awards Scholarship is available to international students who want to study in Australia.
DAAD Scholarship is awarded to international students who wish to study in Germany. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is available to international students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in Canada. It covers tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs.
Indian student Anushka Bafna secured an internship with Google in California while pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California, which allowed her to gain valuable work experience and make important connections in the tech industry. Such internships provide a headstart to a student’s career.
Many universities have partnerships with local companies and organizations, which can offer Indian students the opportunity to gain work experience and internships in their field of study. For example, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has partnerships with several companies in India, and its Career Center offers programs specifically designed for international students.
Many universities abroad have world-class research facilities and faculty members, which can offer Indian students the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research in their field of study. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has several research centers and programs that are open to international students, such as the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design.
Studying abroad can offer Indian students the opportunity to build relationships with people from all over the world, including fellow students, faculty members, and industry professionals. For example, the Indian Students Association (ISA) at the University of California, Berkeley, organizes networking events and social activities for Indian students on campus.
Studying abroad can challenge Indian students to step out of their comfort zones and develop independence, adaptability, and resilience. It can also offer them the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture and gain a global perspective that can benefit them personally and professionally. For example, the Indian Student Association (ISA) at the University of British Columbia in Canada hosts cultural events and activities to help Indian students acclimate to their new surroundings.
Employment Prospects with Higher Pay Package are a big attraction for studying abroad. The salaries you receive abroad is much higher as compared to the salary you would receive for the same job in India. Exchange rate between rupee and other currencies also help in higher pay scales.
Students, who have graduated with a STEM degree are eligible to stay back in the US for additional two years to continue working in their field of studies if they so desire, which is a great opportunity for many international students. Students have experience working for a reputed organization in the US then coming back to their home country and getting a job would be a lot easier because there would be a huge demand for highly skilled labor.
In countries like the US, students have the opportunity to work alongside professors as Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Research assistants where students could earn stipends for their contribution and assistance. These also allow students to take on the roles and responsibilities of the professors like grading papers, or even taking classes when the professor is not available or on leave.
Quality of Education
One of the main reasons for students preferring to pursue higher education from foreign countries is their quality of education. Countries that invest in education also invest in resources that students can use to enhance their learning. For instance, schools and universities in advanced nations have access to better laboratories, libraries, and technology, which can contribute to better learning outcomes.
Many foreign education systems emphasize creativity and innovation as important skills for the 21st century. This approach prepares students to think critically, solve complex problems, and create new ideas. This is particularly true in countries like Japan, where creativity is valued and integrated into the education system.
Studying in a foreign country can expose students to different cultures, languages, and perspectives, which can broaden their horizons and enhance their critical thinking skills. For example, if you study in france, you would obviously pickup certain amount of knowledge in spoken french. This is particularly relevant in today’s globalized world, where understanding different cultures and ways of thinking is essential.
Students who study in foreign countries may have an advantage when it comes to employability. Many employers value candidates who have experience living and studying in different cultures. For example, live-in relations are not yet acceptable in India, but are a norm in many countries. Students who have studied abroad would develop strong cross-cultural communication skills and adaptability.
Degrees from certain foreign universities may be more internationally recognized and respected than degrees from institutions in some countries. This is particularly true for countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, which have some of the most respected universities in the world.
Various organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), publish rankings of education systems around the world. These rankings take into account factors such as student performance on standardized tests, graduation rates, and teacher quality. Countries like Finland, South Korea, and Japan often rank highly in these rankings.
Countries that invest more in education tend to have better education systems. For example, countries like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden invest a high percentage of their GDP in education, which results in better quality education for their citizens.
The curriculum of a country’s education system can also impact its quality. Some countries have more rigorous and comprehensive curriculums than others, which can result in better-educated citizens. For example, countries like Singapore and Switzerland have highly developed curriculums that prepare their students well for the future.
The teaching methods used in a country’s education system can also impact its quality. Countries that have adopted innovative teaching methods, such as project-based learning and personalized learning, tend to have better-educated citizens. For example, countries like Finland and Denmark have a strong focus on student-centered learning, which results in better learning outcomes for their students.
Practical Knowledge in foreign universities is a big attraction for Indian Students. The US is a top favorite destination for many international students who are looking to pursue their higher education in STEM programs. OPT (Optional Practical Training) is a hot catch for students choosing to study in the US because it allows them to work and gain experiences in their field of study.
Research Opportunities is an important professional decision taken by Indians who travel overseas. With a degree from a prestigious international university, research prospects for Indian students are greatly increased. First off all, the top research institutions in the world will be delighted to accept them. Second, studying overseas will provide students with the option to work in research at prestigious businesses like Microsoft, Google, or Apple.
For example, the UK is a popular destination among students who wanted to pursue a STEM program. After the Post Study Work (PSW) route was terminated in 2012, the new post-study Graduate Route, which began for registration in July 2021, offers competent graduates an extended 2-3 years to stay in the UK after completing their studies which have further attracted many international students to choose the UK as their choice of destination for their studies.
Germany is regarded as having some of the greatest universities in the world. In terms of education, infrastructure, and economy, it is fast expanding. One of the main reasons why Germany is becoming the most popular abroad education destination is that most German universities are publicly sponsored and have little or no tuition fees.
Many Indian students take up higher education in foreign countries with the ultimate aim to migrate and settle abroad. Certain countries facilitate and infact welcome such a move and their policies are tailored to help bright students from other countries.
International students who complete a program of at least two years in Canada are eligible for a post-graduation work permit. The permit allows them to work in Canada for up to three years, which can give them the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience and qualify for permanent residency.
Canada, with its easy way to post-study work opportunities and secure Permanent Residency, and quality education offered at a cheaper tuition fee, has been attracting a lot of international students and it has become one of the favorite destinations for the STEM program. Canada has a 3 year stay back policy for students during which they can apply for a work visa and permanent residency.
Australia offers a range of high-quality universities and a relaxed lifestyle. The Australian government offers several options for international graduates to stay in the country after completing their studies, including the post-study work visa and skilled migration visas.
International students who complete a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in Australia are eligible for a post-study work visa. The visa allows them to work in Australia for up to four years, depending on the level of their qualification.
Australia provides a substantially lower and more affordable cost of living. Australian immigration policies allow international students to work part-time for a high income for a set number of hours per week during their study period. In addition, international students can stay back for an additional two years to work after their studies
New Zealand is known for its stunning natural landscapes and friendly culture. Graduates of New Zealand universities may be eligible for a post-study work visa and can apply for a skilled migrant visa to stay in the country permanently.
International students who complete a program of at least 30 weeks in New Zealand are eligible for a post-study work visa. The visa allows them to work in New Zealand for up to three years, depending on the level of their qualification.
Germany offers free or low-cost education to international students, and the country has a strong economy with many opportunities for graduates. International students in Germany are eligible for an 18-month job search visa after graduation.
International students in Germany are eligible for an 18-month job search visa after graduation. If they find a job during this period that is relevant to their field of study, they may be eligible for a work permit that allows them to stay in Germany and work.
The US has some of the top universities in the world, and many graduates of US universities go on to have successful careers in a range of industries. International students may be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation, which allows them to work in the US for up to three years.
International students in the US may be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation. OPT allows them to work in the US for up to three years, depending on their field of study. For countries like the USA and UK, students apply with the end goal of immigration to that country.
In the US and UK, once students secure employment they are presented with the opportunity to apply for Permanent Residency. The US has a 2 year stay back policy during which they can convert the visa to a work visa. UK has brought back its 2 year stay back work visa for international students to help them seek employment in the UK.