The Western Union report ‘Education Abroad, An Evolving Journey’, with responses from 241 Indian students, also notes that education abroad is a ‘preparatory school’ for well-managed character development.
New Delhi: At least nine out of 10 students believe that education abroad will help them develop new skills and gain practical knowledge, according to a new report from an international financial services company.
Western Union’s ‘Education Abroad – An Evolving Journey’ report, with responses from 241 Indian students, also notes that education abroad is a ‘preparatory school’ for well-managed character development. In fact, 45 percent of prospective students prioritize “self-reliance” and living life on their own terms as the main reason for considering an education abroad.
The report notes that Indian students are increasingly seeking education abroad to gain a better view, interact with different people and understand different cultures. “Overall, goals focused on growth and personal experiences prevailed over material goals such as buying a home or a car,” the report adds.
However, material benefits like better job opportunities, enriched lifestyles and better infrastructure facilities also continue to attract Indian students. Graduate employment prospects, according to the report, are an important factor for students pursuing a foreign degree.
Indian students are now looking beyond top-tier institutions like Ivy Leagues, and 70 percent of prospective students prefer teaching methods better than the university’s reputation. In addition, non-traditional courses such as game design and environmental technology are gaining popularity among students. As digital technology gains more acceptance during the Covid-19 pandemic, courses such as automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, and robotics are also becoming popular.
Education abroad has always been one of the aspirations of young Indians. The data supports the trend: from 3.16 lakh for students in 2016 to 5.88 lakh for students in 2019. The year 2020, coinciding with the Covid-19 epidemic, saw a decrease in the number of students. But the pandemic has also spawned a technology-enabled, blended education model, with 46 percent of respondents favoring such a model. Another major trend the report points to is the growing popularity of non-English speaking destinations such as Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia and China.
European institutions are actively seeking to attract Indian students through language training and launching new English-language programmes. It has become easy for Indians to search for educational opportunities in different European countries. These countries also offer high-quality education at affordable prices,” Sumitra Dutta, professor and former founding dean of Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, wrote in the introduction.