• ScholarGeek.org

  • ScholarGeek.org

  • ScholarGeek.org

  • ScholarGeek.org

Indian Study Abroad

The U.S. Council of Graduate Schools’ statistics show admissions to Indian post-graduate students are up 25 per cent for 2013-14 from the previous year, compared to a 9 per cent increase for all countries. Post-graduate students from India are increasingly choosing to study abroad.  While at the same time numbers for China showed no increase compared to last year. The USA is by far India’s most popular destination; other countries such as Germany, Canada and the U.K. are also seeing significant increases from India. 

Why are they leaving?

Why? There are many reasons why Indians are choosing to study abroad. When bright students look around India for a place to study for an advanced degree, they find few top-quality programmes available. There are absolutely no programs in the Social Sciences or Humanities which are considered by international experts to be in the top for academic programmes. In the hard sciences, biotechnology, and related fields it is more favorable with a few institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and some others. But the numbers of students who can enroll in these schools is limited.

While master’s degrees can be quite costly in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and elsewhere, doctorates are in fact quite inexpensive because of the likelihood of securing a research or teaching fellowship or assistantship that pays for most or all of the costs. So if a bright Indian wants to study for a doctorate or even a master’s degree at a top department or university in most fields, he or she is forced to study overseas. Further, a degree from abroad is more valuable in the Indian job market than a local degree.  This perception is not only based on elitist perceptions but facts also.

Overseas programmes and departments more prestigious, they also have far better facilities, laboratories and a more favorable culture of research. Top faculty members are often more accessible and it is easier to become affiliated with a laboratory or institute.

First step towards a new passport!

Studying abroad is often seen as the first step toward emigration.  Statistics show that a very large proportion of students from India (China, South Korea and other Asian countries as well) decide to stay in the U.S. following the completion of doctoral degrees. The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates show that 80 per cent or more of students who complete their PhDs in the U.S. from India and some other Asian countries remain in the U.S.


Since everyone who completes a doctorate is required to fill the survey, the data is quite accurate. Further, the U.S. and other host nations are making it easier for foreign doctoral holders to remain in their host countries.

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