US remains top choice for Indian students pursuing higher education abroad: SGMI report – DD News

Feedback | Friday, May 17, 2024
23/04/24 | 6:44 pm
By: Aditya Ahuja 
Amidst growing concerns about affordability, safety, and quality of education, the United States maintains its status as the preferred destination for a large majority of Indian students aspiring to pursue higher education abroad, according to the latest findings from the Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index (SGMI).
The SGMI study, conducted in collaboration between Oxford International and the Knowledge Partnership, sheds light on key factors influencing the decisions of Indian students in choosing their educational destinations abroad.
Preference Trends
One of the standout revelations of the report is that a staggering 69% of Indian students surveyed expressed a preference for the United States over other prominent destinations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Despite the UK ranking second with 54%, followed closely by Canada at 43%, and Australia at 27%.
Factor Shaping Decisions
Quality of education and the esteemed reputation of universities emerge as primary drivers behind this inclination towards the US. A significant portion of students, 45%, value the quality of education in the US, while 42% appreciate the reputation of its academic institutions. Similarly, in the UK, 59% of students prioritize the quality of education, with 61% emphasising the reputation of universities.
Family Influence
Interestingly, the influence of parents and guardians emerges as a dominant factor shaping the decision-making process for Indian students. A remarkable 71% of Indian students cited their parents or guardians as the primary influencers in their choice to study abroad. This trend resonates across students from Nigeria, Pakistan, and Vietnam, highlighting the pivotal role families play in guiding educational aspirations.
Financial Considerations
Affordability and scholarship opportunities also play pivotal roles in students’ destination choices. While the UK attracts 28% of Indian students due to its reasonable course fees, Australia emerges as the first choice destination for 34% of students, thanks to its scholarship opportunities. Canada and the UK closely follow suit in offering attractive scholarship prospects for international students.
Moreover, the study stressed the crucial role played by higher education agents in providing vital information to students during the decision-making process. A substantial proportion of Indian and Nigerian students, 35%, engage with these agents for guidance on courses and universities, highlighting the importance of intermediary support in navigating the complexities of international education.
In terms of information sources, university webpages, search engines, and teachers emerge as the most valuable channels for acquiring information. However, it is notable that students from India do not place as much emphasis on social media sites compared to their counterparts from other countries.
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