The UK has now upstaged America as the most preferred campus destination for Indians. Blame it on the declining job opportunities in the US which is battling the worst downturn in decades or it could as well be that America is still more expensive to study in than Europe.
The desi students are finding their chances bleak to be associated with the dream US destination universities like the Harvards, Michigans, Yale and Stanford – which no longer guarantee the top-dollar jobs – and are increasingly mending their way towards top UK-based universities such as London Business School, Oxford, Cambridge and Imperials among others.
Even though US still constitutes the biggest pool of Indians enrolled, student visas issued for the UK-based colleges are gradually reporting a robust pick-up in demand on a sequential year on year basis. The enrolment figures for the UK have notched a decent jump from 15000 student visas for the academic year 2004-05 to 27000 for the new student-entrants in 2009.
However, the biggest twist in the tale comes here – the data on the fresh visas for entry into college for 2010 reveal a whooping improvement to 57500 visas that have been issued by the UK as against 32000 student visas issued by the America for the same period.
What’s even more interesting is – the UK has registered a more than double the jump in the number of student visas issued over last year which stood at 27000 enrolments. Educational consultants suggest that this widening gap could be partially attributed to the availability of the shorter courses in destinations outside America.
The US fresher data is also said to be affected by the stricter norms laid down by the US banks involved in lending money to the students to fund their educational expenses. In some cases, banks have also stopped lending to international students without co-signers.
In one another obvious situation – Australia’s loss of opportunity in attracting Indian students has also turned up a boon for the UK-based colleges. Change in visa laws coupled with incidents of racially-motivated unsafe attacks has turned out to be the major concern for the Indian students aspiring to go to Australia. The last academic year saw an overall decline of more than 60% in Indian students going to Australia.
Do you feel the US can register a come-back until the end of the year?