Pursuing an undergraduate programme or a master’s degree programme in a University abroad is considered ‘glamorous’ by Indian students. USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are the top destinations for Indian students. There are several factors that have been encouraging students to prefer foreign Universities over Indian Universities. Let us explore a few of them and see the reasons are relevant in today’s context.
Fear of competition and curriculum: Indian education system is aggressive. To land a seat on reputed educational institution, a student has to win over very tough competition. Irrespective of discipline, the number of applicants to the number of seats available is very high. The entrance tests are tougher by the year. In this backdrop, students prefer pursuing universities abroad than repeatedly appearing for entrance tests or settling for less reputed institutions.
Also, course curriculum in India is theory based. Only ten per cent of the class, who are toppers can cope with syllabus of higher education programmes in India. Students who are not good at theoretical concepts cannot do well. On the other hand, in Universities abroad, the courses are centered round practical application of concepts. So India students who are even mediocre can excel in foreign universities.
However, here it is very important to note that employers consider students from top Universities abroad as one bracket and students from any other university an another bracket. Employers, both in India and abroad do not really prefer students from universities other than the top ones. So students and parents should be really careful while choosing universities. Unless the university is among the top 5 or 10 universities in that country, there is no point in enrolling yourself there.
Route to citizenship: Many parents and students consider countries like USA, UK and Australia as ultimate destination. They believe that they can be more successful there than in India.
Therefore, getting a student visa and pursuing studies there is seen as the first step towards their goal. But gone are the days where studying in a foreign university would lead to getting a job in that country and eventually citizenship. The immigration policies across the world have been changing. The governments are very clear that if you go to their country to study, you have to come back after the completion of the course.
However, if you can manage to secure a seat in one of the top universities, then you should definitely considering studying there. When you study in a University abroad, your personality develops. You will live alone in a foreign country, take responsibility of yourself. You will learn to live with limited money, adjust in unfamiliar environment and focus on studies.
Studying abroad involves a lot of expenses. You might have to take a loan or mortgage assets to put together the money for fee and stay. So unless you get a seat in top Universities, investing your money there is a high risk. There are several good institutions in India too; by working harder you can definitely make it to one of them. Exploring options other than popular ones like Engineering, Medicine or Business Administration is another way to join good institutions. Many of these options lead to lucrative and challenging careers.
-T Muralidharan, TMI Group – Consultant, Columnist and Author on Careers