A study by Edtech platform ApplyBoard has found that Indian students will drive growth in the US, the UK and Canada.
In the last few years, the number of Indian students heading outside for higher education has inflated exponentially. As per UN population estimates, India currently has the highest number of young adults between 18 to 23 years of age, and while this figure of about 150 million in 2020 is expected to witness slight decline in the coming decades, by 2050, the country is still expected to have the largest young adult population globally. In this context, a study by Edtech platform ApplyBoard has found that Indian students will drive growth in the US, the UK and Canada.
The report stated that between January and September 2021, Canada approved about 1.15 lakh Indian students to study in the country. Apart from this, the Edtech platform recorded six times more student applications for studying in the US in 2021 as it did in 2020. Moreover, as far as the UK is concerned, between 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years, the number of Indian students in the European country increased by 52%.
Indian students in Canada
Canada has remained as one of the preferred destinations among Indian students and it continues to do so, as per the report. An increase of about 350% has been witnessed in the number of Indian students in the country between 2015-16 and 2019-20 academic years, according to data from the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). ApplyBoard has estimated that in the full year 2021, over 1.4 lakh students from India have been accepted for studies in Canada, which would mark an increase of 25% over 2019.
Students are preferring Canada because of its openness to immigration and because of its successful Post-Graduation Work Permit Program or PGWPP.
Among Indian students in Canada, business courses are most popular. The country has seen Indian students approved to study management and business-related courses grow to around 43,000 in the first nine months of 2021 from about 11,000 in 2016.
However, the country also has a high demand for people in skilled trades and in health sciences.
United Kingdom and Indian students
The enrolment of Indian students in the UK seems to be following an upward trajectory, with a rise of 52% having been recorded between 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. Recently, the UK has been carrying out developments that can attract more students from India, including the new Graduate Route announced in July 2021. Under this, students who have received their undergraduate or master’s degree from the UK are able to apply to stay in the UK for two years after getting their degree, while students who have completed their PhD can apply to stay in the UK for three year in order to work and gain work experience in the country. While applying for this, students need to possess a valid student visa.
Like Canada, the UK also witnesses Indian students preferring courses around business and management, while Math and Computer Science courses are next preferred. Communications and Information sector in the UK has one of the highest vacancy rates in the country, according to HESA data, so they might be an attractive option for students who wish to stay in the country.
Indian students in the United States
The US has been witnessing a decline in the number of students recently, with the figure falling 9% between 2015-16 and 2019-20 academic years. However, in the past four academic years, over 70,000 students have enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT) every year. Moreover, now that the US Department of State and the US Department of Education have given a joint statement supporting international education, it is expected that enrolment of Indian students in the US will see a rebound, the report stated.
Majority of the Indian students in the US prefer to study or work in the STEM sectors (78%), likely because of the vast number of technical institutions that the US is home to and because of the work benefits that accompany OPT.
The programmes and recent support to international students announced by each of these countries seem to point to a brighter opportunity for Indian young adults aiming to get international education and exposure.