1 in 5 students prefer new destinations like Ireland, Turkey, Spain: Study

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While the US, UK, Canada and Australia remain the top four picks, new destinations such as Germany, Italy, Ireland, Turkey, Russia and China are experiencing a significant increase in the number of students going to these countries, which were not previously taken into account. listing.

According to a study “Education Overseas – An Evolving Journey” by Western Union, the leading provider of money transfers and cross-border payments, one in five students (22%) now prefer new, unconventional study destinations such as Ireland, Turkey and Spain.

Commissioned by Western Union at NielsenIQ, the study was undertaken to understand the collective journey Indian families go through as they strive to secure their child’s international education and a global future.

Among other key findings, areas of specialization such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital marketing, cybersecurity, ethical hacking and environmental technology take precedence over traditional university courses for 52% of students. students intending to study abroad. They seek out niche courses that are slowly gaining in importance, often looking beyond Ivy League universities that are unable to offer these courses.

The findings highlight a dramatic shift in the outlook for how students and parents now view options for education abroad. According to available data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA), students from more than 70,000 families went to study abroad in the first two months of 2021, undeterred by the pandemic. As of January 2021, more than 1.09 million Indian students were studying in 85 countries around the world, according to data available from the MEA. Countries like China (29,600 students), Germany and France (10,000 students combined) also now have large Indian student populations.

Almost half (45 percent) of the students surveyed prioritize “autonomy” and opportunities to “live life on their own terms” as key motivations for exploring international learning opportunities. Additionally, pandemic-induced blended learning is now common, with 46% actually preferring such a model.

The study also found that students now prioritize the opportunity to travel and explore other cultures (43%) over better employment opportunities and better education.

According to Sohini Rajola, Middle East and Asia-Pacific Manager, Western Union, with its presence in more than 200 countries and territories, students enjoy reliable and convenient support from its global financial network. “As they explore new avenues of education, we can ensure that they continue to stay financially supported and connected at all times,” Rajola added.

Western Union also found that resident Indian remittances have increased sequentially by 34% since October 2020, with education outflows increasing in the last quarter. Education-related remittances accounted for over 30% of India’s total remittances in fiscal year 2020-2021. Education remittances grew 64% year-on-year, with $ 1.2 billion transferred between April and June 2021, up 5.3% from January-March 2021.

In terms of challenges, qualifying exams remain a big barrier for students (64%) leading them to opt for countries / universities that do not have entrance exams or mandatory master’s degree tests. english. On the flip side, parents have expressed distress over student loans, with many worried about loan repayments due to the volatile nature of the current landscape. Concerns about money, especially budgeting and financial planning, were the main obstacles expressed by students and parents as playing a determining role in the whole process.

More than half (54%) identified financial issues as the main concern when choosing to study abroad. This was also reflected in their decision to opt for courses of shorter duration (47% of students preferring them) due to the high costs associated with studying abroad.

Meanwhile, three in four students surveyed looked for scholarships while choosing their course, due to the high tuition fees.

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