According to QS World University Rankings, India ranks second when it comes to students who leave the country to study abroad. The total number of Indian students going abroad to pursue their higher education has been steadily increasing over the years with the USA, Canada, and the UK being the most popular destinations. Indian students studying overseas have spent $2.8 billion on tuition and hostel fees, which is 44 percent more than $1.9 billion spent in 2013-14. Thus, affirming that more students from India prefer going abroad to pursue higher education.

Popular Courses among Indian Students Seeking Overseas Education:

  • The most preferred stream among Indian students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). These courses also promise lucrative job opportunities.
  • Another popular category is interdisciplinary courses like marine engineering, geophysics, game design, and development.
  • A consistent upgrade in technology has also propelled Indian students to ditch traditional courses and opt for special courses like Robotics, Automation, and Mechatronics to meet the requirement of new job roles coming up.

Most popular countries for Higher Education among Indian Students:

Canada, the UK, the USA, Australia and countries of the European Union are the most preferred countries for higher education in 2019. However, the United States remains to be the first choice among Indian students followed by others.

  • The United States: Indian students make 17 percent of all overseas students in the United States, i.e. around 186,000 Indian students are enrolled in universities in the USA. Current trends suggest that in 2019, the USA will continue to attract Indian students.
  • Canada: With an aim to attract 450,000 international students and researchers by 2022, Canada has made it easy for international students to study and work in their country. This has resulted in significant growth in the number of students choosing to study in Canada.
  • Australia: Rod Hilton, deputy high commissioner of Australia in India, said that at present Australia accommodates 68,000 Indian students. This trend will continue to rise in 2019. Melbourne and Sydney are the favorite destinations of Indian students choosing Australia for higher education.
  • The United Kingdom: The UK is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to education. The UK government has announced a new International Education Strategy outlining two ambitious targets for 2030 to maximize the potential of the International Education sector. This will also increase the inflow Indian students into the UK.
  • Other European Countries: The countries from the European Union that remain to be popular study destination among Indian students are Germany, France, Ireland, Latvia, and the Netherlands.

Looking at the current trends it is evident that the number of Indian students going abroad to seek quality education will continue to grow in the coming years.


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