Piyush Bhartiya is the Co-Founder and CEO of AdmitKard Edtech that simplifies application process for higher education opportunities. He takes care of the overall growth strategy at the brand and also manages the operations. He ensures that the brand is firmly marching towards the larger aim of providing quality guidance to the students and helping them achieve their career goals. Piyush holds a Btech degree from the very reputed IIT Roorkee, followed by an MBA from IIM Bangalore.
The number of students pursuing education abroad has increased abundantly in the past few years. Situations like the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war have not impacted the student’s enthusiasm to pursue their education and careers and the underlying need and economics are extremely strong. From the recent numbers released by the ministry of external affairs, it is estimated that over 7,50,000 students went abroad from India in 2021, more than 20% rise over the pre-pandemic numbers.
While 2020 saw a decline in the trend, the descent was only temporary as today many more students are ready to enrol in a foreign course regardless of the recent slump. The majority of these students belong from states of Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujrat, Maharashtra, NCT, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, whereas the most chosen country for education in Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Germany, and Ireland.
Now the million-dollar question is why the trend is consistent in India? And why do parents and students alike are so willing to move abroad despite multiple global disruption events? Here are some possible reasons:
- Universities and their country are offering many benefits to students after the pandemic
The pandemic had affected not only the general population but also the income of several institutes by the severe decline in foreign enrolment. As a result, many universities created bonds with local institutions in India to create hybrid or online classes for students.
The excess flexibility changed how students perceived foreign education and became highly cost-efficient for their families. More parents can now afford the fees so their kids can learn from one of the best universities in the world. Furthermore, many variation plans were implemented for international students upon arrival in the country, which answered the safety concern of their families.
Countries home to these institutes have become much more welcoming since the pandemic has almost ended. Their bylaws are easing the imposed restriction for Indian students and unlocking their border for travelling purposes, thereby increasing the number of Indian graduates again. Furthermore, countries like the UK are now offering the option of employment for students after two years leading many to opt for their institutes.
- Small countries are still skyrocketing in admission due to low fees
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine had significantly impacted Indian students as well. As many were stuck there due to the war, unable to book a flight in time to return home, despite this, they were forced to attend offline classes as their institutes refused to hold online courses. This dilemma had received national media attention and became an eye-opener for many aspirants planning on pursuing education in Ukraine in the future. However, aspirants are still willing to travel to other small countries like and near Ukraine and Russia despite the risk involved.
This is because small countries outside of India offer courses at significantly lower prices as compared to Indian colleges for a degree with equal value. This is why a significant number of students returning from Ukraine were MBBS students. It costs around 20 lakh to 30 lakh to complete a five year of MBBS course in small abroad countries, whereas in India, it ranges from 50 lakh to 1 crore. These figures are tempting enough to convince parents about sending their kids abroad.
Due to thousands of Indian students being stranded in Ukraine, the choice shifted to other Ukraine like countries such as Russia, China, the Philippines, Georgia, etc.
- There are not enough opportunities in India for aspirants
One can likely cite the lack of enough opportunities in India as a primary reason why large scale student migration happens for foreign education. More people are well informed now and do sufficient research about the courses and jobs vacancies available in abroad countries. Current international students play a critical role in spreading awareness about their success stories and how they are over-coming challenges in new countries to achieve their goals.
This is why several of them choose to study overseas because of the high competition in India for a small number of opportunities. For instance, 17 lakh students give the medical entrance exam every year, yet there are approximately 80,000 seats available in the country. This excess competition and high stakes either prompt many students to take gap years or pick foreign countries to enrol in their desired courses.
Not only is there a significant gap in opportunity, many Indian private universities have become highly expensive which compared to universities abroad are not so different anymore. Also, the compensation levels abroad for these graduates are 10-12 times higher giving them a strong RoI and a reason to go abroad.
The main reason so many students are willing to travel overseas to achieve education is very straightforward. The shortage of opportunities in the country, coupled with tempting job offers and low prices, is enough to venture to a foreign land. What many call brain drain, it is the way for India to create its impact on the world and become an irreplaceable part of the global economy. With all major technology companies being headed by Indians, there are strong role models to follow.