It’s always a moment of immense pleasure for Indian students when they receive their Visas to go overseas and secure their education. It feels like much-needed assistance for their topsy-turvy future. Every year, there’s been a rise in students opting to study abroad. Although the pandemic has affected the digits, studying abroad continues to be a desirable option to the majority. So what exactly makes a person aspire to secure an education from abroad?
Does it excite you to think about studying abroad? Your answer would probably be a ‘yes’.
When it comes to staying and studying abroad, it seems like an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fantasy to many. People long for better education and quality of life. There is an increase in students opting to study abroad every year. Although the pandemic has impacted the numbers, studying abroad is still desirable to the majority. According to the latest data by the Ministry of External Affairs, 2,61,406 students from India moved abroad in 2020 and 71,769 departed last year. It has also been reported that students from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala choose to go overseas to fulfill their educational dreams every year.
According to the data released by the government, 30,948 students departed for the UK, US, Australia, China, Germany and Poland from Kerala in the year 2019, while only 29,314 students went abroad from Karnataka in the same year. The data also stated that the pandemic had resulted in a 55% drop in 2020 when only 2.6 lakh students went abroad compared to nearly 5.9 lakh students in 2019. After a massive plunge in numbers in 2020, the first two months of 2021 have noticed about 72,000 Indians going abroad to study, even as the pandemic continues, to pursue their dreams overseas.
High Domestic Competition and Low Opportunity
Experts state that one of the reasons compelling more Indian students to seek admissions overseas is the ferocious competition for seats in the country’s undergraduate courses. From getting into an IIT to pursuing an MBBS, the competition for admissions has raised the bar significantly across the board. In addition, the urge to get into an institution that could make you a doctor or an engineer is entirely above the graph. Students thus prefer to go abroad instead of struggling to secure a seat in a government institution in their homeland.
The lack of opportunities in several domains is also one of the reasons why students fly abroad. Everyone wants quality education, so they look for something that can gratify them as far as their education is concerned.
Quality of Life and Social Reputation
Everyone desires a satisfactory life. And when it comes to the quality of life, one can only think of the developed countries in the west like the US, UK, Canada etc. To attain satisfaction and a prosperous life, many students long for studying abroad. This is aided by several countries that offer jobs to students who complete their education from their institutions. It seems more accessible for students to study and work in a developed country rather than having a bleak future in their native places. And when it comes to social appreciation, those who get their degrees from foreign countries hold good value for it. It feels good to brag about that “chacha ka beta” studying in the UK.
The war between Ukraine and Russia brought people’s attention to the Indian students studying in Ukraine. Many reports claim that most Indian students in Ukraine study medicine there. Some of Ukraine’s state-run institutes are well-known for delivering high-quality education to students. Hence, it is assumed that Indian parents prefer to send their children to these institutions rather than pay a considerable fee to enroll their children in a private medical college in India.
Generally, in private Indian medical colleges, the fees that a native student might be required to pay would range from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore. A student enrolled in a six-year-long medical degree in Ukraine will only need to spend a fraction of that. Moreover, Ukraine also offers different benefits such as low-cost food and accommodation for the students besides their low tuition fees.
Therefore, in some cases, it is much more convenient and affordable, if not equally expensive, for Indian students to study abroad than studying in a private college in India.
There could be various other reasons that can motivate students to go and study abroad. When Indian ministers casually advise students to stay in their own country and pursue their studies from here itself, they should also consider the issue of education in India. New reforms and amendments are needed in our education system; only then can we expect students to dwell in their own country to excel in the future. The emphasis should not only be on the students who went but also on the students who stayed.
Laaiba is a student pursuing Masters in English at Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Diptarka Chatterjee