Vying for an international degree

Vying for an international degree

In the academic year 2015-2016, 1,65,918 students from India joined universities in USA to pursue their higher studies.

This is a 25% increase on the year before. India accounts for one out of every six international students in the United States. Approximately three-fifths of Indian students are at the graduate level and three-fourths are in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

It is not just the United States that students go to for higher studies. Other countries are not too far behind. In fact, thousands of Indian students also look towards studying at universities in countries such as UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, etc.

Varied reasons

One of the most important reasons as to why students opt to study in foreign universities is due to the nature of competition we have in the Indian education sector. Students who secure even 95% in their Class 12 examinations do not land a seat in a college of their choice.

There is also a redundant burden on students to get through entrance exams of engineering and medical colleges even after securing good percentage. Students who fail to clear these competitive exams are left with no other option than either pursuing a course that doesn’t interest the students or taking admission in private universities. However, as studying in private colleges is expensive, students either succumb to that monetary pressure or decide to take admission in foreign universities, which would help students in the long run.

Another challenge is that the number of students appearing for entrance examination like IITs and medical colleges are in lakhs and total seats available in these colleges are merely a few thousands. Due to the pressure to get through the competitive examination, students opt for studying abroad.

As far as the education culture is concerned, overseas programmes and departments are respected, and provide better facilities and favourable culture of research. A double degree is another thing that attracts Indian students to study in foreign universities. Global universities have a flexible education culture whereas in India universities follow a
conventional and strict culture. Also, most of these universities have career centres that help students get internships and jobs in global market.

Studying in foreign universities helps students groom their personalities, communication skills, social contacts and at the same time one experiences a different life. Most global companies nowadays prefer hiring employees with either global market experience or a degree from a foreign university. Some of the companies feel that either of the two enables employees to work in an international market.

Different types of scholarships offered by these universities have also lessened the burden of fee for Indian students. Opportunity to work while studying is also another catch for students who dream of studying abroad.

(The author is founder,TMIGroup, Hyderabad)

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