US remains top choice for Indian students; UK sees massive jump


By Zofeen Maqsood September 27, 2021 2:33 pm

Photo credit: Humber College

UK’s new Graduate Visa attracting more Indian students thanks to its post-study work experience option

While many believed that Covid may have a negative impact on the number of Indian students enrolling abroad, the number of student enrollments from India continues to rise.
And while the US once again registered the massive portion of Indian student applications abroad, Off late, the UK has witnessed a massive jump in the number of Indian students enrolling into its universities, according to a new survey.

The United Kingdom, home to some of the top universities in the world including Cambridge and Oxford, has remained a popular study destination among Indians, it is the US that registers the maximum number of Indian students each year.

A new survey by iSchoolConnect, placed the UK as the third best choice in the world for a study abroad destination. Interestingly, the figures are expected to further rise as a result of the new Graduate Route visa. The Graduate Route visa offers post-study work experience options for successful graduates.

The costs and benefits of international higher education students to the UK economy report, published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Universities UK International (UUKi), finds that China remains the dominant nation with 86,895 first-year students entering the UK higher education in 2018-19, with India coming in second with 18,305 students.
One year’s intake of incoming international students is worth 28.8 billion pounds to the UK economy, with India among the most prolific as an overseas education market.

After introducing the Post Study Work Visa that gives students the right to stay back to work in the UK for two years, the UK has been on an upward trajectory.
After Brexit, the UK was estimated to need 800,000 skilled workers to fill positions left by EU residents. With a points-based immigration system also in the works, the UK has time and again shown how the policy-makers in the country are showing affinity towards immigrants.
This does not however mean that the US may lose its spot as a top study destination among Indians. The US has gone through an essential political change, and that too amidst the pandemic.

The good news is the new Biden-Harris administration is pro-immigration. In the early days of his tenure, Biden has already started working towards welcoming immigrants into the country. With the borders also now open, the USA is expected to be a major destination for students heading abroad from India in 2022.

On the prospects for study abroad in the coming times, Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder and CEO, Leverage Edu, a global university admissions platform headquartered in New Delhi with offices in London says, “I think 2022 will be the perfect storm for the Higher Education Space.

“The three major destinations the UK, the US and Canada will compete to cater to an applicant pool that will include nascent applicants from previous COVID affected intakes.”
“It also will be the first year to have all three major destinations open to students since the pandemic,” Chaturvedi says. “We currently don’t see Australia opening up which also gives us time to settle basics for the supply country today while focusing on the big three.”