New Delhi: Ishan wants to pursue his education in the United States. He stands in a queue at the US Embassy to get his student visa for a bachelor’s degree in computer science. After an hour-long wait and thorough document checks, he finally gets his visa to go study at the University of Washington.
“There are very few seats in good colleges in India. Foreign universities provide us options to choose from a variety of courses. They are more flexible as compared to Indian universities,” said Ishan.
Aditya Chaudry, Ishan’s Counsellor says, “Ishan was very clear that he wanted to study abroad. Foreign universities have a more holistic approach towards admissions. They do not judge you on the basis of academics alone. They take into account your research projects and internships as well.”
India sees the second highest number of students going to study in the United Kingdom; the largest being China. Over 19,500 students enrolled last year alone. According to US Embassy data, student visa applications from India to the United States increased as much as 60% last year, with approximately 90,000 students applying to various universities. Over 21,000 study permits were issued to Indian students in 2013 to study in Canadian Universities. About 24,000 Indian students have enrolled in Australian universities over the last one year. Latest figures from Forbes show that Indian students spend approximately $6 billion a year to study abroad.
Usha Albuquerque, Director, Careers Smart says, “Higher education is an investment, therefore parents are willing to spend money. So much money is going out of India in terms of usage. It is a huge indictment for our education system where students with 95% cannot get into a college of their choice.”
With more students applying for undergraduate courses abroad each year, India not only loses talent, but also highlights the problems in our education system.