Two days ago, The Australian printed an article (Indian Summer) sourcing information from my blog where I confirmed using official data that the total number of students going out from India to Big Five destinations (US+UK+Australia+Canada+NZ) had declined to one third of what it used to be five years ago . This article inspired The Telegraph in India to refer to my blog and then dig for possible reasons for the decline. Their article which is on this link is being reproduced below too. It is a good article as it takes the issue one step ahead by looking for reasons for the trend. At this time, I am only observing the reasons being pooled though would like to only correct the following inaccuracies in the article:
- I have never said in any of my writing that the student numbers to Canada has been fewer over the last five years. On the contrary, if you take revised look at my blog and the graph of the trend, the numbers to Canada has jumped up significantly over the years. I have “forecasted” that it is likely to see a correction this year.
- I am not sure where the journalist picked up that for a student in UK to be able to work after studies need to have a minimum of Pound 35000. I believe that it is Pound 21000 and so maybe the journalist wanted to say $35000. However, even Pound 21000 is a high benchmark for a freshly graduating student with no local work-experience.
- I am also not sure as to how the “senior official” of UGC can attribute the twinning programmes run in India as a possible reason for the decline. Twinning programs means that the part of the degree is done in India and part done overseas. I believe that it actually increases the total number of students as this appeals to a number of students who cannot spend for the full degree overseas. The student when proceed to the foreign University actually gets counted in the visa stats anyways.
- Finally, the argument of “foreign degree being done in India” as a reason for the decline over the last five years is another of the “bad” expert opinions. The government is yet to have a clear policy on Foreign Universities operating in India and to the best of my knowledge, no real institution has started operating in a way to bring down the student numbers significantly.
The Telegraph article is inspired from following blogs which carry country wise details and reasons for the first time and breaking the myth that more Indian students are going overseas year after year.