The increase in the number of Indian students going overseas to study is no longer just because of better academic opportunities and the unmet demand due to travel restrictions during the head of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also due to the perceived better healthcare management in other countries. The need for better healthcare management was amplified by the pandemic and the resulting systemic problems it caused.
“Although Indian students have always looked to study overseas to have access to better academic opportunities, many of them do so for other reasons as well,” Sanjay Laul, CEO and founder of education management company M Square Media (MSM), shares. “Some even choose to study in another country to have a better quality of life during and after their studies,” he adds.
In 2019 alone, around 586,337 Indian students flew abroad, while in 2020, only 259,655 Indian students went abroad, mainly because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. In 2021, the number went up to 444,553, mainly due to the opening up of borders in many countries.
When travel restrictions loosened at the start of the year, we saw international students resuming their overseas study plans. In the first half of 2022, as many as 245,601 have already enrolled in universities abroad.
Even with the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar, Indian students still look to study in the U.S. due to a host of other factors, such as the high quality of education in American universities, an authentic multicultural student experience, and an efficient and effective health care system.
In the U.S., Indian students accounted for more than 160,000 or 18% of its total international student population in 2021.
“The pandemic exacerbated the need for better healthcare management and this is why international students, such as those from India, are looking to study in a country where healthcare systems are robust and the pandemic health crisis seems to have been controlled to a certain extent,” Laul notes.
Laul also noted that the most popular study destinations for Indian students are those that have had a successful pandemic response, such as Canada and the UK.
According to a UK-based FinTech company, there has been a 98% growth in international study loan applications in the UK by Indian students in the first three months of 2022.
In Canada, the Indian market is soaring with over 41,000 approved Indian students to study at a Canadian institution. This record was accumulated only for the first three months of this year. India has already surpassed its 36,598 total students during the height of the pandemic.
- Kalra S. 2022. Post-Pandemic Brain Drain: Indian Students Fly Abroad in Search of ‘Healthier’ Study Destinations. 18News. Retrieved from https://www.news18.com/news/education-career/post-pandemic-brain-drain-indian-students-fly-abroad-in-search-of-healthier-study-destinations-5015779.html
- Arthur M. 2022. Top 3 International Student Source Markets in the US. MSM Insights. Retrieved from https://msquaremedia.com/research/top-3-international-student-source-markets-in-the-us/
- Qureshi S. 2022. Massive Surge of India, Nepal Student Permit Approval Forecasts Early Win for Canadian International Education. MSM Insights. Retrieved from https://msquaremedia.com/research/massive-surge-of-india-nepal-student-permit-approval-forecasts-early-win-for-canadian-international-education/