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Why are Indian Students Spending Billions Abroad?
Indian students studying abroad are expected to spend a staggering $70 billion by 2025. This sharp increase, as projected by a Gradding report, delves into the estimated direct expenditure for 2022, around $47 billion. This encompasses tuition fees, accommodation, and various living costs. The driving force behind this surge lies in the pursuit of academic dreams, coupled with the need for top-notch education, research opportunities, and cutting-edge technology.
What Does the Report Reveal?
University Living’s analysis in the “Beyond Beds and Boundaries” report indicates a substantial rise in outbound Indian students. Shockingly, over 1 million students were studying abroad in 2019. Furthermore, this number expected to reach between 1.5 and 2 million by 2025. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia stand out as the preferred destinations. They hosted approximately 850,000 Indian students in 2023.
Where is the Money Going?
The bulk of the projected $34 billion spending in 2023 is earmarked for tuition fees and living expenses, with half dedicated to each. Notably, Indian students spent $5.9 billion in the UK, with the breakdown showing $3.4 billion for tuition and fees, $1.3 billion for housing, and $1.2 billion for other living expenses.
Financial support for Indian students
With more Indians going abroad, Gradding founder, Mamta Shekhawat, indicates that the surge is due to suppressed demand during COVID. The reopening of international borders has prompted students to resume their plans of seeking education abroad. To address the financial challenges, scholarships and educational loans play a crucial role.
Understanding the housing crisis
Investing in student housing infrastructure becomes imperative to alleviate the challenges faced by students. The report suggests that students spend around $16,590 on housing, with on-campus living offering proximity to classes and extracurricular activities. However, on-campus accommodation comes with a 10-40% higher cost than off-campus options. The stakeholders, both on the supply and demand sides, need to collaborate to transform the current student housing situation.
The escalating expenses highlight the pursuit of quality education, research opportunities, and post-study work prospects. Moreover, financial challenges and the housing crisis pose significant hurdles, emphasizing the need for proactive measures. This includes scholarships, educational loans, and investments in student housing infrastructure, to make studying abroad more accessible and sustainable for Indian students.