A recent report by UNESCO reflects that Australia is the 2nd most favorite choice (first being the United States) of Indian students aiming to pursue higher studies abroad. According to the Daily News & Analysis India, Australia replaced the United Kingdom in the second position, after a 4% decline in student interest for the United Kingdom.
The statistics of 2016 show that 48% of students from India headed towards the United States of America for higher studies, while 11% chose to study in Australia and just 8% moved to the United Kingdom for higher education. In this regard, experts believe that this drastic decline of student interest in the United Kingdom is a result of the increasing stringent visa rules that have come up as challenges for Indian students in the recent days. Mr. Y.K Sinha, India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom said “In the field of education, we have a bit of a problem because the number of Indian students [in the UK], which was 40,000 or so in 2010, has dropped to 19,000. The U.S., which had 104,000 Indian students in 2010, has 166,000 today.”
“I think the UK universities are doing a great job, but I think we need to sort out the issues regarding visas. It is an area that both governments are talking to each other about,” he added.
Another point to note here is while the USA tops the list today, there is still a certainty that the anti-immigrant strategies coming up each day in the reign of President Trump may greatly affect the interest of students in future. Nevertheless, while UK and US are at a risk of attracting student crowd in their own way, Australia strongly intends to gain more students through its liberalized visa policies and the provision of 2 yr post-study work visa. In this regard, Alex Murphy, the MD of UTS stated “The number of Indian students coming to Australia has been growing and we want to engage more with Indian students. Students in India are very keen, they know what they want.”
“With the current situation in the UK and U.S., we are expecting that Australia will get more students in the future. This is also because we provide a friendly environment to the students, and we acquaint them with the country and its culture before they actually start living and studying there,” he further added.