The allure of a foreign education continues to be a key driver for Indian students to go abroad to pursue educational opportunities. The overall economic and corporate success of the Indian diaspora has only bolstered the narrative of the middle-class Indian making it big on foreign shores. A great education in one of the premier global institutions is seen as a stepping stone toward that end.
Canada’s vast and effective research ecosystem, high employment rate and strong industry-academia linkages, which allow for a steady pipeline of industry- ready professionals, make the country an important study abroad destination for Indian students. More importantly, its diverse culture and high standard of living ensure that Indians continue to flock to this country in droves for study, work and leisure.
Indian students don’t have to look very far for inspiration in the land of the maple leaf. Their compatriots have done well in every sphere of life here, much like their counterparts in the rest of the world. Be it Rohinton Mistry, who was born in Bombay, India, and emigrated to Canada, where he earned a degree from the University of Toronto and won two literary prizes there, later becoming a famous writer. Or Ujjal Dosanjh, who was born in a village in Punjab, India, moved to Canada, and earned his law degree from University of British Columbia, where he later became a lawyer and politician, serving as Canada’s first Indo-Canadian premier. Or even Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, born in Jammu and Kashmir, who earned her PhD from the University of Alberta, and has since returned to India to continue pursuing her work in social and women’s rights activism. Wherever you look, Indians have contributed meaningfully to many spheres of public life in Canada and have used their education to launch them into the next phase of their lives and careers.
Many ascribe their professional success to the huge premium that Indians place on education. The draw of quality higher education institutions in places like Canada, paired with the huge youth population of India, will likely be a combination that continues to generate a steady stream of young people making a beeline for overseas colleges. Not surprisingly, at the end of 2018, India’s Ministry of External Affairs recorded that as many as 750,000 Indian students were studying abroad, a large majority of them in the United States and Canada.
The TOEFL® test — a gold standard English proficiency test accepted everywhere in Canada
As Indian students prepare for an education abroad, a key prerequisite for academic success in popular English-speaking destinations, including Canada, is English- language proficiency within a rigorous academic environment.
While Indians are typically taught English in schools and tend to have higher English-language proficiency compared to many of their global peers, an English-language assessment which prepares one for the rigors of academic life at university is usually an application requirement. However, in a cluttered environment where many so-called assessments and illegitimate certificates proliferate, students often face a dilemma about which test to take. This is where the TOEFL test should be considered, because not only has it been designed specifically to test the type of academic English that universities are looking for, it enjoys wide global acceptability and credibility, being accepted in over 10,000 educational institutions in 150 countries, including Canada. With the TOEFL test, students can stand out confidently to admissions officers by showcasing their superior abilities.
In Canada, the TOEFL test is a gold standard in standardized tests. More than 80 percent of graduate programs in Canada prefer the TOEFL test over other English- language tests, and more TOEFL test scores are sent to Canadian universities than all other English-language tests combined. The TOEFL test objectively evaluates the ability of international students to communicate in English in an academic environment through its unbiased scoring process, thereby offering reliable insight into students’ language proficiency. This objectivity ensures a more diverse, higher quality pool of applicants coming through the admissions process, a key requisite for Canadian colleges and higher ed institutions.
Continuous improvements to the TOEFL test experience
The TOEFL test experience is being continuously refined to provide a better experience for students. Just this year alone, the TOEFL iBT® test has implemented eight major enhancements that impact the test experience, which have included a variety of convenient options for students and institutions, from test prep, to registration, through test day. A few of these changes include shortening the test time by 30 minutes, the implementation of superscores, the addition of afternoon testing sessions and a new TOEFL app — all of which have contributed to an improved and streamlined test-taker experience.
For details on the TOEFL test, visit www.ets.org/toefl. For information on the latest improvements to the TOEFL test experience, visit https://www.ets.org/toefl/better_ test_experience.