Indian students are shying away from going to the UK for under-graduate and post-graduate courses. Data published by the US based Higher Education Statistics Agency on 11 January has shown that there was a 23.5% drop in the number of Indian students in UK in 2012. According to experts, the UK government's new and stricter policies on student visas, which are aimed at reducing immigration in the country, alongwith the eurozone crisis, which is affecting the job markets, are reasons for the slowdown.
For most, studying abroad means getting a high paying job but the prospect of not one after finishing their courses is making many students rethink going to the UK. Naveen Chopra, founder and chairman of the well known higher education consultants, The Chopras, divides the students going abroad into three categories — the rich, middle class and those who try to get a student visa only to get a job abroad rather than pursuing their courses. Chopra says that the first and the last category are not affected by the economic situation, but he says that the situation is somewhat risky for the middle class. He, however, adds that the students who are really serious about getting a job will find it.
Industry expert Yogesh Bansal, founder and CEO of apnacircle.com, a networking professionals' website, says, "As far as the cutting down of number of students going abroad and the visa rules being straightened is concerned, steps taken by these countries to hold up the present educational and economic situation sound fair to me. If someone has the calibre and is able to find a job he/she could stay in the US or UK. No company would want to decline good talent be it in India, US or UK." Further, Bansal also says that there are managerial level jobs available for students who want to come back to India as well.
The financial scuffles in US and UK have led to new destinations taking precedence amongst students. Countries like France, Germany and Singapore are coming to the forefront for those looking to pursue their education abroad. According to Chopra, China has been attracting a lot of students from India.