Students game for studies in lesser known EU countries

Availability of chosen courses, quality and cost affordability key factors

Indian students are thinking outside conventional choices for their education abroad. An European Union education fair in the City on Wednesday saw more than 2,000 footfalls, where students were keen to explore opportunities for education in countries such as Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, among several others, in the EU.

While students still evince interest in popular European universities, they are not hesitant any more to explore other places.

There are three factors that Indian students are considering for higher education abroad: Courses specific to their interest, the quality of education offered and security. The country they are going to and the brand value of the institution are not the primary parameters, students said. Take the case of P Anupama Joy, for instance. She is pursuing Biomedicine which has more opportunities in European Union than in India.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the student said, “Ireland has a lot of opportunities in the field of Biomedicine. Belgium too has many options to offer and hence, my choice will be institutions in either of the countries.” According to her, the popularity of the institution does not matter as long as she is getting to pursue a course of her interest.

There is also a sense of exploring new places that is among the driving factors for students' choices. Siddharth R, an engineering student of VIT, said students were also looking at experience. “Both the factors operate here. One is the quality of education and the other is the opportunity to gain understanding about a different culture from your own.”

He wants to pursue postgraduation in Information Technology, but has not yet zeroed in on any country, he said. 

Parents, on the other hand, are looking at this as an avenue to offer education abroad to their children at an affordable price, for, the living cost and tuition fees are much cheaper in smaller countries.

Demand for engineering
The European Union institutions participating in the fair received an overwhelming number of queries for engineering courses. Przemyslaw Grabowski, Deputy Director Counsellor, Polish Institute in New Delhi, said several students were keen to know about opportunities in computer, automotive, mechanical and aerospace engineering. As for opportunities in Poland, he said the Polish economy has been stable and the country expects inflow of investments in the coming years. “The education is inexpensive and so is the living cost. The quality of education offered is good.”

Medicine and MBA were two other courses that students were looking at. Vladimi Hristov, Consul, Bulgarian Embassy said, “Bulgaria offers high-quality medical education. We received several enquiries for higher education in medicine,” he said.

With Bulgarian National Sports Academy offering several courses in sports, there were enquiries for master’s in sports management and sports psychology as well, he added.

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