According to data provided by Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, the number of Indian students who study abroad increased by 68.79% in the previous year. According to information he provided in the Lok Sabha, there were 7.5 lakh Indian students enrolled in foreign universities in 2022 compared to 4.44 lakh in 2021.
How is the number of students captured?
In response to a query from MPs regarding the overall number of Indians leaving the country to pursue higher education abroad, Sarkar provided the information in question. He made it clear that although the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration keep track of Indians’ arrivals and departures, there is no index that includes the group of Indians who travel abroad for higher education.
“Purpose of Indians going abroad for higher education is captured manually based either on their verbal disclosure or the type of visa of the destination country produced by them at the time of immigration clearance,” Sarkar replied.
The number of Indian citizens increased from 4.54 lakh in 2017 to 5.17 lakh in 2018, according to data provided by the ministry. 5.86 lakh students left the country in 2019, which was also a significant increase. However, because of the COVID pandemic, there were significantly fewer Indian students enrolled in foreign universities (2.59 lakh). Even though it remained low, the number increased slightly in 2021 to 4.44 lakh registrations.
Popular study-abroad destinations:
But by 2022, the number had significantly increased to 7.5 lakh. According to the most recent immigration reports from some of the most popular study-abroad countries, including the US, UK, and Australia, there are more Indian nationals living abroad.
According to the UK’s Immigration Statistics Report, 127,731 visas were issued to Indian students in September 2022, up from 34,261 in 2019 by a whopping 93,470 (+273%). Similar trends have occurred in the US, where the number of Indian students has more than doubled. According to the Open Doors Report 2022, in 2022–2033, the number of Indian students enrolling in American universities will likely surpass that of Chinese students.