Why Indian students prefer to study abroad instead of distance education?

By | July 27, 2023

In 2022, the count of Indian students studying overseas escalated to 7.5 lahks, marking an impressive 68% rise compared to the preceding year. The trend showcases significant growth, approximately doubling within a five-year span, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 11% each year.

Such robust statistics underscore the rising popularity of foreign education among Indian students. Historically, the preferred study destination for this cohort was the United States, a preference largely influenced by its economic vibrancy and robust job market.

Recently, however, there has been a noticeable shift towards countries like Canada, whose student-friendly immigration policies have garnered considerable attention. In fact, last year, Canada surpassed the US as the primary destination for Indian students abroad, accommodating nearly 45% of the total outbound students from India. This figure represented a 50% increase over the number of Indian students opting for the US.

Indian students prefer to study abroad

Indian students prefer to study abroad

Families contemplating international education for their children view this decision as more than just a pursuit of academic excellence. The comprehensive package of world-class education, exposure to high-quality research, societal benefits, and personality development is considered equally vital. The experiences their child encounters, the relationships they form, the global perspective they develop, and the long-term vision and self-confidence they cultivate are all essential components of studying overseas.

Acquiring admission to some of the most renowned and competitive institutions worldwide, such as Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, and MIT, is akin to a complex jigsaw puzzle. The admission process entails assembling a diverse student body from across the globe. The students are not just aspiring professionals in fields like engineering, neuroscience, biology, physics, archaeology, computer science, philosophy, and chemistry, but also carriers of varied experiences, backgrounds, attitudes, and perspectives. This melange of students enriches classroom discussions, debates, and narratives, leading to comprehensive and robust solutions to global challenges.

The education one gains isn’t limited to the instruction received from professors; peer learning is an equally pivotal part of the experience. Despite the growing appeal of online education, it cannot replace the holistic experience of traditional campus-based learning. The latter isn’t merely an academic endeavor but also a social immersion.

While online education may offer flexibility and specific subject learning, one of the unique advantages of studying abroad, especially in the United States, is the liberty to diversify one’s academic portfolio. For instance, a computer science student may also explore philosophy, business, or history.

The recent surge in online learning, with platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and edX offering comprehensive degrees and specializations, has undoubtedly democratized access to quality education. However, even with the supportive communities cultivated around online learning, the unmatched experience of walking through college corridors, accessing physical libraries, engaging in intellectual debates, and sharing meals with peers remains unparalleled.

Indian Education Vs Foreign Education: Why You Should Study Abroad?

Many Indian scholars are driven by the aspiration of achieving global career success, seeking education from some of the world’s top universities. It’s not just about amassing knowledge, practical skills are equally essential to navigate the international professional environment. Undeniably, it demands immense perseverance, dedication and determination to master these skills and operate at such levels.

India’s rich academic heritage and landmark moments in education have certainly garnered worldwide recognition and appreciation. However, when it comes to international skillset acquisition, the foundational education of western nations is often seen as more valuable and preferred over India’s.

Every country boasts unique cultural perspectives, understandings, and influences that inevitably impact their educational systems, causing them to differ. Yet, amidst these variations, there’s a common objective – effective learning. It’s up to individual cognitive abilities how efficiently one absorbs and comprehends the imparted knowledge. Scholars electing to further their education overseas generally possess a distinct mindset, adopting a hands-on approach to their studies.

What is the difference between the Indian education system and the foreign education system?

India’s schooling system bears a stark contrast to those seen in other parts of the globe. There’s a prevalent notion that Indian schooling doesn’t offer a broad-enough learning platform, potentially hindering practical learning experiences. The national context significantly influences the establishment and evolution of an educational system, with elements like surroundings, resources, methodology, and a multitude of other factors playing pivotal roles. Notably, the origin of India’s education system lies in the British curriculum, which has arguably led to a deficit in crucial infrastructure and financing.

Presently, despite several concrete steps underway to uplift the state of Indian education, there’s a considerable journey ahead before matching the educational norms upheld by global leaders. Until such parity is achieved, pursuing education overseas can equip Indian scholars with a learning experience that equals their contemporaries in the international arena.

The educational framework in India varies greatly from that observed globally across numerous facets. For students navigating the choice between an Indian or international education, there are key factors that need to be contemplated:

1. A practical and research-based approach to education in foreign destinations

Many students are attracted to international educational systems due to their focus on ingenuity and originality, which is perceived to be a contrast to the theory-oriented education in India. Foreign systems underscore the practical application of knowledge, aiding students in understanding and using concepts in real-life contexts. According to a 2018 UNESCO report, more than 5 million students globally, including 750,000 from India, pursued an education outside their home country.

One major point that many students agree on is that there is a lot more creativity and innovation in education abroad than in Indian education. The process of foreign education is more practical while Indian education is more theoretical. The way they deal with the concepts and apply them is far more effective in making the students understand the concepts and apply them in real-life situations. As per the UNESCO report in the year 2018, it was said that more than 5 million international students worldwide and 750,000 students from India pursued foreign education.

2. Money, facilities, and investment in education

Indian education is not able to provide opportunities for research-based knowledge work to students due to lack of facilities, mediums, and funds, which are often ignored by the government. Research education in many foreign deemed institutions is being funded not only by the government but also by many of the world’s largest companies and organizations such as Microsoft, Google, etc., increasing the scope for good research initiatives.

3. A rich and varied curriculum in developed countries of the world

The curriculum in Indian education is to some extent based on previous research, which does not provide enough opportunity to the student to learn something new and apply it practically. While countries like US, UK, many European countries have diverse curriculum which is full of opportunities for students to come out of their comfort zone and limited knowledge area and encourage students to do new and innovative research. Most of the students generally prefer US for their studies and as per the survey, it was found that the US ranks first with 59 per cent students from all over the world, followed by Australia, UK and Canada with 7 percent, 6 percent and 1 per cent respectively.

4. Flexibility in the selection of subjects

Having various educational facilities like the option to choose other subjects while pursuing higher education definitely gives a plus advantage to foreign education. In India, students generally cannot have more than one major, for example, a student majoring in chemistry cannot opt for a commerce-related major. But, most foreign universities allow their students to switch as well as choose more than one subject for higher education, giving them more diverse courses and opportunities which is an added advantage.

5. Mixture of traditional and contemporary programs

Students in Indian universities have only a select few higher education options such as engineering, medicine, and management. In contrast, universities abroad not only provide education in these traditional fields to their students but also provide an opportunity to learn modern courses like game designing, photography, and mechatronics.

Often, it is true that top international recruiters value education in global institutions because of the benchmarks set by these institutions over the years. Hence, the students of these universities get a good start in their careers. The standard of education in Indian universities is not that remarkable, and hence, there are limited opportunities for the students. Admission to top-notch colleges is highly competitive with limited seats. Along with these, there are many other factors such as environment, lifestyle, exposure and so on which differentiate foreign education from Indian education. It is one thing for us Indians to take these things as a challenge and work effectively to make it a great nation for excellent education in the future.
The factors mentioned above can help you understand and make an informed decision to choose your future. Studying abroad offers new experiences, but ultimately, you should consider the higher education option that best interests you. Remember, education is a learning process in which we develop our skills for our future.

Reasons to study abroad

Apart from the above-mentioned shortcomings in the Indian education system, there are many other reasons for Indian students to study abroad:
1. Pedagogy
Earning a foreign degree abroad gives you immense academic strength and difference in each individual. Foreign universities emphasize practical education rather than theoretical education, so that students can gain useful knowledge and practical experience.
2. Work with studies
Students mainly plan for foreign degrees as well as international work experience which is an added advantage of the resume. International students can work with their student visa in most countries. So students can study and work, and have a wonderful experience.

3. Scholarship
Excellent scholarship facilities are provided for the students, empowering the students to be ambitious and reach full individual potential.
4. Research Opportunities:
The research opportunities available abroad are very specialised, innovative and state-of-the-art and hence provide a useful experience to the students. In Indian colleges, students do not get enough resources and infrastructure, but like foreign colleges, students are provided with new technology, tools and resources.
5. Course Options
Studying internationally gives students diverse course options and a range of skill-based training. Indian colleges do not provide different course options while foreign colleges provide you deeper depth of study and higher scope of courses.
Enhanced Communication Abilities
Pursuing international education aids students in building confidence in their English language skills, significantly contributing to their academic and personal growth.

What makes international education advantageous?

There are numerous perks associated with studying abroad, some of which significantly boost your career. They include:

Discovering Career Paths

International education provides an opportunity for students to extend their global connections. It is an ideal blend of education, discovery, fresh experiences, myriad opportunities, and much more. The international study experience augments one’s self-assurance.

Multicultural Exposure

Being an international student offers a unique chance to understand diverse cultures and foster intercultural understanding. It’s a fantastic way to experience a variety of cultural perspectives and traditions.

Boosting Self-Assuredness

Pursuing education abroad allows students to develop robust leadership and administrative skills. Thus, international education enriches one’s intellect and abilities, serving as a long-lasting benefit.

World Exploration

International students have the opportunity to discover and travel to unfamiliar locations. You can explore the city’s attractions and also journey to nearby areas and countries during vacation periods.

Language Skill Enhancement

Improving your language proficiency can significantly impact your professional life positively.

Why do students choose to study abroad?

The reasons for choosing to study abroad are many, and we highlight a few of them:

Superior Education Quality

There is a notable difference in the quality of education provided in foreign institutions compared to those in India.

Expanded Career Prospects

Foreign universities encourage you to widen your scope. They offer numerous career options, paving the way for a bright future.

Multisite Exploration

The attraction of intriguing tourist destinations and captivating cultures entices many students to study internationally.

Broaden Your Connections

Studying abroad allows you to encounter new individuals and build lasting friendships. It fosters a priceless connection with people worldwide, and as your connections expand, so do your career prospects.

Diverse Learning Approach

Universities abroad emphasize a hands-on teaching methodology. This exposure helps students adapt to various teaching styles, making them well-rounded in numerous fields. You’ll gain new skills such as team collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and more.

Why should you pursue a Master’s degree abroad?

Here are compelling reasons to consider for an international postgraduate education:

Distinction from Colleagues

In today’s globalized society, obtaining an international degree significantly enhances your competitiveness in the job market.

Engaging with the International Student Community

International education offers an opportunity to join a global student community, offering exceptional social and networking opportunities. You’ll interact with like-minded individuals, broadening your outlook.

Abundant Funding Possibilities

Don’t let financial constraints deter your international study ambitions. There are numerous scholarships and financial aid options available. Make optimal use of them.

Realizing Your Potential

Studying abroad is a transformative experience that allows you to discover your abilities, learn new things, and meet new people. It can be a pivotal moment in your life. Going the extra mile can help you achieve remarkable success.

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