USA, Australian universities hold sway over Indian students

Indian students continue to throng universities United States and Australia each and many more would be joining the thousands of Indians studying abroad soon.

Shashi Tharoor, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development had let know the Lok Sabha in the last session that the number of Indian students studying in US and Australia in 2012 was 100270 and 36326 respectively.

Although, there was a marginal decline of 3.5% from the 103895 that enrolled in 2010-11 but the attraction for Indian students about studying in US and Australia was not losing its sheen.

As more and more high quality students continue to be attracted to overseas universities, it remains a cause of serious apprehension for the Indian economy in terms of loss of revenue and brain drain.

Reasons for the steady outflow:

  • The foreign universities especially in US and Australia are perceived to attach the most prestigious and valuable credentials to the education degree translating into better employability options.
  • There is an unavailability of requisite number of seats for the aspirants in the Indian Universities and institutes. This shows that India’s educational competence is very limited despite government’s best efforts.
  • Most of the Indians take up courses in business, science, technology, engineering and mathematics abroad at the graduate level. The inclination concludes that the standard of business and science related courses is not very satisfying in most of the universities in India.
  • The rising income level in the Indian middle class has supported the exodus.
  • Indian students like many other Asian neighbors choose the countries that provide easier part-time job options.
  • Most of the Indian students rely on scholarships and other financial assistance, which are easily provided by the Universities abroad; to fund their education

Consequences of mass students migration

As per the recent reports from UNESCO Institute of Statistics and the Institute of International Education, the total number of Indian students studying abroad including US and Australia in 2011-12 is approximately 200,000.This is a massive number that causes a huge loss in revenue for India every year. Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) estimates the loss to approximately US $ 20 billion a year. However, the amount of tuition fees involved depends on the country, course and University and is outside the jurisdiction of Ministry of Human Resource Development.

In addition, the problem of brain-drain makes the matters worse.

The outflow can only be stopped unless more and more quality educational institutions on the model of IIT’s and IIM’s come up soon. High quality foreign institutions should be encouraged to come to India. Although Ministry of Education has plans regarding the latter but the process needs to speed up efficiently. Government should ease its restraining control on Indian educational sector a bit.

In the recently announced prestigious QS World University Rankings no Indian institute figured in world’s top 200 universities. Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT)USA, bagged the top slot.IIT,Delhi was standing at 218,IIT Bombay(225),University of Delhi(398),University of Pune(661) and University of Kolkata(578).

India regularly scores very badly on quality research front. Additionally, the employability opportunities in research and teaching, offered in our universities and institutes are not very gratifying. India needs to keep an eye on the whole situation with a much established outlook otherwise we would find ourselves in a big turmoil in the coming future.

A mechanical engineering graduate with a post graduation in marketing and sales, Ashish has combined professional experience of more than 4 years. Ashish is a great fan of Martin Scorsese. He loves to write poetry in his spare time. He lives in Shimla.

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