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Assocham tells how falling rupee affects Foreign Education

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Falling rupee affects Foreign Education
Students proposing to go abroad for higher studies becomes one of the victims of the weakening rupee as if the dollar remains around Rs.60/-, the impact shall be 15% to 20%, says the ASSOCHAM quick estimates.

While releasing the ASSOCHAM assessment Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, Indian students who are going abroad for their higher education will see a high expenditure due to falling rupee on their food, living expenses and stay cost.

As per the ASSOCHAM estimates, Indian students paying fees in US currency will have to arrange for more rupee funds for the same amount of dollar fees. Since March 2012, rupee has weakened by 15%, reflecting the higher cost that students have to pay now compared to last year.

An estimate shows that a fee of studying is USA ranges from $ 20,000 to 30,000 for undergraduates and from $ 30,000-40,000 for MBAs. With the rupee weakening against the US dollar, students will now have to pay Rs 2 Lakhs to Rs 4 Lakhs more as overall expenses will rise.

Students planning for next year's admission will also have to pay more for TOEFL, GRE and GMAT application forms, apart from the admission forms of foreign universities that range anywhere between $50 and $500, varying from institute to institute, adds the paper.

Education loans are usually in rupees, but as students pay their expenses in a foreign currency, the cost of education will also increased by 15 to 20%. For $100,000, a student had to pay Rs 45 lakh. Now, they have to shell out Rs 55-58 Lakhs, depending upon the exchange rate, adds the paper.

According to the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) recent estimates on reveals that nearly 65,000 students went to the US in 2012-13 while 55,000 went to the UK in 2012.

Mr. Rawat further said, RBI should actively sell dollar rather aggressively and tame the US currency. On its part, the Finance Ministry should continue to take more measures to encourage capital inflows than only rupee will regain its strength.

A parent funding a child's overseas education from personal savings will be critically hit as the rupee slips more and more, adds the ASSOCHAM assessment. The overall budget will be affected as every item in the budget list will witness a change, as apart from the application fee, examination fee and the tuition fee, even the cost of living will be higher for the students, adds the ASSOCHAM paper.

Of about 6-8 Lakhs students that go abroad for studies from India every year, about 1 Lakhs go to the US, followed by Britain, Australia and South East Asia, among other countries. According to ASSOCHAM estimates, the quantum of currency that goes abroad is Approx. Rs 1,00,000 crore.

The weak rupee has resulted in higher cost of financing, and some families have indeed seen their savings fall short and their dreams of a better future shattered. To tide over this fund crunch, students are either looking at alternative sources of funding like scholarships or picking on campus part-time jobs, etc, adds the paper.

The paper further reveal that a majority of Indian students in the UK are sourced from North India, through the numbers from South India and parts of Western India (Gujarat) are growing. However, very few students go from the East and North-East regions of India.

As per the findings, Indian students are gradually exploring UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Ireland and Denmark in Europe. They also take up part-time jobs which are not much difficult to secure.

In recent years, a number of Indian students are opting for new areas like healthcare, English and linguistics while vocational training has also become popular. Indian students in Germany mostly specialize in areas of Engineering (Mechanical and Process Engineering), Information Technology (IT), Sciences (Biology and Chemistry) and Economics.

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