Study abroad trends: More students try new countries for a foreign degree
With more and more students preferreing to go for higher studies abroad, Natasha A Chopra, Managing Director, The Chopras, analyzes the recent trends of study abroad and the tips for cracking the various admission tests abroad.
Is there a pattern that you see in Indian students trying to be more experimental in choosing institutions and courses abroad? What do you think the trend will be?
Definitely, the Indian students are becoming very experimental in choosing courses and countries for their studies abroad. A few years back, students flocked only to countries like the UK, the USA and Australia. Now, a large number of students are going to countries such as Germany, Norway, Malaysia, France etc. There are many reasons for this changing trend such as the quality of education, fees and living expenses, global exposure and cultural experiences and internship and placement opportunities. Also, the choice of courses has also undergone tremendous changes over the years. Moving away from the conventional courses, many students choose courses in design and fashion technology, hospitality management etc. For design and fashion, the most desired destinations by Indian students are Italy and France. For hospitality management, students prefer countries like Switzerland and Australia.
Globally speaking, in view of government cut in grants for higher education, do you think that the institutions are going to increase revenue by raising the tuition fees, particularly from international students?
I don’t think the institutions will increase the fee as they always target the international students. There is a huge competition in this regard and the institutions are very much conscious about it. They are very much aware that if they increase the tuition fee, they will lose out in the competition. So it is very unlikely for them to increase the international tuition fee as they always try getting the maximum number of international students.
The first major step and one of the most important aspects of studying abroad is to crack the tests. Do you think that the students need to go for coaching classes to get good results in the study abroad tests?
That completely depends on the intellectual capacity and the competence of the student. There are various study abroad tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, AP test etc. The coaching classes give insight into various aspects such as the structure of the test and most importantly the tips on cracking the test that is something a student will be difficult to know during self preparation. Also, the need of coaching classes varies from test to test. There are tests such as IELTS and TOEFL that analyze your language abilities. A student with good flair of language needn’t go for coaching classes for such tests. At the same time, we have tests such as GRE, GMAT etc. that analyze different types of skill sets. For those, it is always preferable for a student to go for coaching unless he has very high skills. Again, it all depends on the need of the student. With plenty of coaching centres in India, going for coaching for tests has become very much a part of our culture.