52% of Indian students intending to study abroad prefer specialist courses over academic reputation


52 percent of Indian students intending to study abroad prefer specialist courses with academic standing when choosing institution, “Education abroad – an evolving journey” revealed a study commissioned by Western Union to NielsenIQ.

“They are looking for niche courses that are slowly gaining in importance, often looking beyond Ivy League universities that are unable to offer these courses,” the study reads.

For 52% of students, the following fields take precedence over traditional university courses:

  • Data analysis
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Digital marketing
  • Cyber ​​security
  • Ethical hacking and eco-technology

In addition, 64% of students said that qualifying exams remain a barrier for them, leading them to opt for countries or choose universities that do not have entrance exams or do not require of English proficiency, reports Erudera.com.

The study indicates that although the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia remain the top four destinations, with the number of students considering other destinations such as Germany, Italy, the Ireland, Turkey, Russia and China increased. Some 22% of participating students said they now prefer Ireland, Turkey and Spain as study destinations.

According to MEA data, more than 10.9 lakh Indian students were studying in 85 countries around the world as of January 2021, with a high number (29,600 students) heading to China alone, while a total of 10 000 students to Germany and France together.

Other findings include:

  • 45% of students prefer autonomy
  • 46% of students prefer blended learning
  • 43% of students prefer to travel and explore other cultures rather than better education and employment opportunities

Additionally, parents have expressed concerns about student loans, primarily about loan repayments due to the volatile nature of the current landscape. Budgeting and financial planning were the main barriers mentioned by students and parents in the study.

54% of students said financial issues were their main concern when planning to study abroad, which also impacted 47% of students’ decision to choose more courses short term due to the high costs of studying abroad.

Due to the high tuition fees, three out of four students participating in the study said they looked for scholarships when choosing majors.

Western Union commissioned NielsenIQ to carry out the study between January and June 2021, with 807 individuals, students, parents, grandparents, guidance counselors, in 12 cities.

Due to travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in most countries around the world, Indian students are finding it difficult to continue their studies abroad, especially in Australia, where students have been banned from attending. entered the country since March 20 last year.


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