US No.1 Study Destination for Indian Students Despite Affordability & Safety Worries

United States North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Apr 25, 2024

United States

The United States remains the most preferred study destination for students from India, and cost and safety are not a deterrent in their choice, according to Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index (SGMI).

The second edition of SGMI, published recently, revealed that despite concerns over affordability and safety, the United States is the top choice for 69 percent of Indian students planning to pursue higher education abroad, Erudera.com reports.

When deciding where to study, students said they consider two main factors, which are the quality of education and the universities' reputation.

The study, conducted in partnership with Oxford International and the Knowledge Partnership, found that 45 percent of surveyed students prefer the US because of the quality of education, while 42 percent are motivated by the reputation of US higher education institutions.

United Kingdom is the second most popular study destination for Indian students, with 54 percent preferring it. In the UK, 59 percent of students cited the quality of education as their primary reason for choosing this country, while 61 percent highlighted the reputation of UK institutions.

Additionally, the study found that the third option for Indian students is Canada, with 43 percent of the latter seeking it for higher education. Australia, on the other hand, draws the attention of 27 percent of students from India.

“In a time when global education is increasingly without borders, the findings from the SGMI report shed light on the ongoing appeal of quality education and respected institutions, despite the existing concerns about costs and safety,” Managing Director at Oxford International Education Services, Mohit Gambir said while commenting on the findings.

Other factors influencing Indian students’ decision-making about study destinations are affordability and scholarships. When it comes to affordable education, 28 percent of Indian students point to the UK, 20 percent to Australia, 18 percent to Canada, and only 9 percent opt for the US.

Scholarships also play an important role in students’ decision about where to study abroad. In Australia and Canada, scholarships are the main motivators for 34 and 32 percent of students, respectively. This share is 27 percent for the UK and 23 percent for the US.

Another important finding of the survey is that about 71 percent of Indian students cited their parents or guardians as the primary influencers in their decision-making process, and 44 percent mentioned their closest friends. A similar share was also observed in students from Nigeria (72 percent), Pakistan (71 percent), and Vietnam (62 percent).

The US hosts the highest number of international students in the world. Over one million international students from more than 210 countries attended US higher education institutions in the 2022/23 academic year, an increase of 12 percent from the prior academic year (2021/22).

The Open Doors 2023 Report on International Educational Exchange revealed that India sent 268,923 students to the US in 2022/23, a 35 per cent increase from the previous year.

MastersDegree.net, a leading education resource platform, reported that most international students in the US, 138,393 students, settled in California last year.

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