Category: India

The recent fall in the value of the Indian rupee has significantly impacted students’ plans to study abroad

“With the cost of education and living expenses on the rise, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to afford a quality education”

The rupee has been on a downward spiral for the past few months and hit a new low against the US dollar last week. This has caused many students and parents to rethink their plans for studying abroad, writes Prajwal Ikhar, co-founder of EduCred India.

The cost of studying in the US has always been high, but the rupee’s recent depreciation has become even more expensive. Besides the US, the cost of studying in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada has increased by at least 10% in the last few months. But for students planning to study in the US, the pain is too much as they are now facing a 20-30% increase in the cost of their education. This is a major deterrent for students who have plans to study abroad.

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Increasing preference for specialised courses among study abroad aspirants

“Even with all restrictions on travel lifting, there is an increasing demand for higher education in the hybrid format”

2021 has been a breakout year for the study abroad segment globally and in India. The year showed an industry-defining bounce back from Covid induced setbacks with strong growth on all fronts. As per the Government of India data released, a total of 444,553 students went abroad for higher education in 2021 in comparison to 259,655 in 2020. That is a massive 71% increase in student outflow. As per trends we’ve seen, countries like the US, UK, and Canada lead the way in terms of top preferred destinations for Indian students.

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The soaring dreams of small cities: rise in study abroad aspirants from Tier 2 and 3 Indian cities

“The annual spending of Indian students on overseas education is expected to grow from the current annual $28 billion to $80 billion by 2024”

Until recently, the dream to secure a degree from a top-notch foreign university was reserved for Indian students from affluent backgrounds and major metropolitan areas. However, recent projections demonstrate an interesting change in aspirants demographics, writes Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect Inc.

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How Omicron has affected the vision of studying abroad for students

“The effect of the new variant is undisputedly a headache for Indian students. However, our data suggests that students are going forward”

The pandemic has continually derailed the study abroad plans since March 2020 affecting student mobility, admissions, and financing overseas education. Just as the situation was stabilising, with many universities expecting to begin on-campus classes, a new variant hit the world, says Ankit Mehra, founder & CEO of GyanDhan.

Omicron, the highly mutated variant of Covid-19, disrupted the entire economy of overseas education once again, forcing countries to introduce travel restrictions and universities to switch back to remote learning.

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Interest in studying in Germany still strong among Indians despite Covid-19

“Almost everyone was very worried about the prospect of entering an unfavourable job market upon graduation”

Covid-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, writes UCL Institute of Education research fellow Sazana Jayadeva, but research into how the pandemic has impacted postgraduate-level student mobility from India to Germany suggests that health-related fears about studying in Germany during a pandemic were largely absent among both current and prospective students.

Between March and June 2020, I conducted interviews with Indian postgraduate students in Germany, as well as digital ethnographic fieldwork in mutual-help Facebook and WhatsApp groups used by prospective students to navigate the process of going to Germany for study.

The vast majority of my interlocutors were studying or applying to engineering postgraduate courses (reflecting the fact that the majority of Indian students in Germany are studying engineering).

Among my interlocutors, there was a feeling that Germany was handling the pandemic well, the healthcare system was robust, and international students were being well supported. Rather than health and safety, their main concerns centred on two issues.

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International universities adopts GLOCAL mantra

“The world is rapidly transforming, and with it, our education systems need to evolve to”

In the past, it was accepted that an education system which revolved around competitive exams would prepare students for the job market. Accumulating knowledge was the driving force behind success, but now after digital disruption, (where information is available at your fingertips), this is not the case anymore. The world is rapidly transforming, and with it, our education systems need to evolve to.

Jobs today are fluid, requiring an array of skills ranging from critical thinking, communication and domain knowledge. Further, with the advent of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and other technological advancements, nobody knows what the careers of the future will look like, what activities will be uniquely human and how organizations will find a balance between automation and human delivered output.

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How to maintain integrity as an education agent

“With each client there is more learning, as no two cases are exactly the same”

You don’t have to look far to find criticism of education agents in the field of international student recruitment.  From headlines condemning onshore student ‘poaching’ to accusations of application fraud, it’s harder to find praise for the role they play in helping students make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Maintaining integrity is essential for this controversial profession. Dharmendra Patel, managing director of the Aussizz Group, explains some of the key principles education agents must abide by. 

“Being an advisor who helps prospective students meet their future possibilities means having important responsibilities”

In the past not many people had access to study or work opportunities in different countries. But times have changed, and for the better. Countries like the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and a few mainland European countries have emerged as leaders that offer education and jobs highly desirable to today’s prospective international students. It is not merely that they pay the top dollar, but they provide a chance to nurture one’s talents and grow to be a contributor. Apart from better-paying jobs, and renowned degree, it is the overall experience one can have which is ever more captivating.

Education agents are often responsible for introducing people to these opportunities. Being an advisor who helps prospective students meet their future possibilities means having important responsibilities. Their role is a diverse one, and the overseas consultant significantly impacts the life of a person who comes to them for proper guidance about the crucial decision of studying abroad.

In most cases, to better understand the client’s perspective and provide the best solution, all dealings happen face to face. With each client there is more learning, as no two cases are exactly the same.

Due to the important role agents play in their clients’ lives, preserving truthfulness and being upright with the people seeking advice is vital. There are certain practices that a consultant can observe to maintain the integrity in the entire process.

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No end in sight for the UK’s Indian slump

“Unless there is a significant shift in UK visa policy or a re-introduction of Post Study Work, it is hard to see how the UK can recover its share of Indian students”

Aaron Porter, director of insights at Hotcourses, delves into the data…

Prime Minister Theresa May finished her first major international visit to India last week, and higher education was high on the agenda for the bilateral talks. Accompanied by Universities Minister Jo Johnson and a number of UK vice chancellors, attempts will surely have been made to arrest the slump in demand from Indian students looking at UK universities. Indian Premier Narandra Modi certainly raised the importance of ensuring the UK was both open and welcoming for Indian students.
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Reflecting on 20 years of AAERI

Rahul Gandhi, president of the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India, reflects on the association’s history as is celebrates its 20th anniversary.

While I was a student in Australia 20 years ago, AAERI was born at the Australian High commission, New Delhi, as the brainchild of Prof Tom Calma and the founder AAERI members. For any child, the initial 5 years are important as these define his character. Similarly for AAERI, the initial 5 years were important. It was because of hand holding by the Australian High commission, New Delhi, that AAERI was able to crawl, walk and eventually stand on its own feet. Today, the child has grown into an adult and AAERI is a proud Indian association which operates within the framework of the ESOS act of Australia & AAERI’s code of ethics. For AAERI, Australia is its soul and India is its heart.
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Universities, agents and international students: contribution and the controversy

“Let’s get this straight, shall we?”

Naveen Chopra, Chairman of The Chopras, one of India’s top study abroad agencies, takes on some of the criticisms aimed at agents in the international education industry.

Lately, a lot of stories have appeared in the media across the western world currently led by Australia’s newspapers, with headlines such as Gaping cracks open up in the Ivory Towers. Everyone is in on the act, including ABC’s Four Corners TV programme; which tried to demolish the reputation of Australian universities and the “agents” they use.
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Naveen Chopra is chairman of The Chopras, one of India’s largest and most reputed student counselling organisations, working with over 10,000 students each year.