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Given a consistent growth rate of 15 percent, it’s anticipated that the tally of Indian students pursuing education abroad will touch the 20 lakh mark by 2025.
In 2023 alone, a staggering 8.5 lakh Indian students opted for higher education in four primary countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada – with expenditures amounting to approximately $34 billion, as indicated in the OneStep Global-University Living study.
Shift in destination preferences
Historically, Indian students have shown a leaning towards nations such as the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. However, in recent times, as the trend of students pursuing education abroad evolves, countries like Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Ireland, Singapore, Russia, Philippines, France, and New Zealand are gaining traction as favored educational destinations.
State wise contribution to overseas education
Breaking it down state-wise, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, and Maharashtra each contribute 12.5 percent to the overseas student count. Following closely are Gujarat, Delhi/NCR, and Tamil Nadu, each accounting for 8 percent, Karnataka at 6 percent, and the remaining states collectively make up the remaining 33 percent.
Economic impact in the US
Indian students in the US, numbering around 2.4 lakh, have significantly impacted the US economy, pumping in $12.48 billion. This amount encompasses $7.2 billion on tuition fees, $2.9 billion on housing, and the rest, $2.4 billion, on varied living expenses.
Contribution in Canada
In Canada, nearly 3 lakh Indian scholars, part of the rising trend of students pursuing education abroad, have collectively spent an estimated $11.7 billion. Breaking it down, this includes $6 billion towards tuition, followed by $3 billion on accommodation, and finally, $2.7 billion on other essential living expenses, as detailed in the ‘Beyond Beds & Boundaries: Indian Student Mobility Report, 2023’.
Expenses in the UK
The UK has seen around 1.32 lakh Indian students contributing a total of $5.9 billion, split into $3.4 billion for academic fees, $1.3 billion for housing, and $1.2 billion on other day-to-day expenses.
Australia’s economic influx
In Australia, roughly 76,500 Indian students have infused the economy with about $3.9 billion. Initially, $1.68 billion accounts for academic fees, subsequently, $0.99 billion goes towards housing, and lastly, the remaining $1.22 billion is allocated to other necessities.
Starting in 2019, about 10.9 lakh Indian students opted for overseas institutions, reflecting the global trend of students pursuing education abroad. Then, by 2022, this number experienced a 7 percent increase, bringing the total to nearly 13.24 lakh. Given that the 15 percent growth momentum persists, by 2025, we could potentially see almost 20 lakh Indian students enrolling in foreign institutions.
Projected expenditure on International education
Indian students overseas educational expenditure was approximately $37 billion initially. This saw a 9 percent hike by 2022, touching $47 billion. If this 14 percent growth rate persists, by 2025, their expenditure on global education could catapult to an impressive $70 billion.