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20% Drop In Expenditure For Higher Education Overseas

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According to data received from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reveals that Indians spending for education overseas has decreased by 20% this year. It also indicates the number of students going abroad for higher education may have fallen in the previous year.

This significant drop in education related expenditure for studying abroad can be seen as a reversing trend as this is the first time that the numbers have hit a significant low in at least 4 years.

Experts owe the trend reversal to tougher visa rules and availability quality options for higher education in the country itself.

Year Education related overseas Expenditure
 2015-16 $1.98 billion
 2014-15 $2.47 billion
 2013-14 $1.93 billion
 2012-13 $1.63 billion

The data shows the student flow has dropped in 2015-16. However, the data for the number of students who went abroad is not available, said an anonymous official.

Why has the education-related overseas expenditure dropped?

Data from RBI indicates two major things that might have caused this change in trend of overseas education. The two major factors that might have affected the study abroad trend are as follows:

Firstly, quality higher educational institutions like IITs, IIMs, IISc and many other universities have helped restrict the number of students opting foreign countries for higher education.

Secondly, the brain drain has been restricted due to tougher visa and immigration rules in countries like UK.

The number of quality institutions are on a rise over the past decade, India has established 15 new IITs and about 12 IIMs. Besides these other centrally funded institutes like the National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research and other central universities along with a few standard private universities have been established.

20% Drop In Expenditure For Overseas Education

The installation of these quality institutions must have caused the reverse in trend of students going overseas, and the impact of these new and quality institutions can be seen in a couple of years.

According to S.K. Das, director of IIT Ropar, he says, a decade back a majority of IIT graduates were looking to study abroad, however, this rate has come down to 20% in the recent few years. He says, the availability of better education and more professional opportunities within India, have contributed to such changes.

Decrease in students opting UK as their higher education destination

The US and the UK are the 2 most popular destinations for Indian students for overseas education. While the student flow to UK has dropped significantly, the same trend cannot happen for the US.

In 2016 the number of students applying for UK visa has dropped to less than 10,000 because of visa restrictions. While the number was as high as 68,238 in 2010 which fell to 11,864 in 2015.

Student flow to the UK has taken a hit, however, students are choosing other destinations like Germany, New Zealand as their study abroad destination, where they are paying less than what a top UK university charges, which is a win-win situation for the country's foreign exchange and lighter on the students pocket.

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