Over 6 lakh Indians went to study abroad in 2022; steady rise in numbers post COVID-19

The ministry informed the Rajya Sabha about the UGC regulation on collaboration between Indian, foreign universities to offer twinning, dual degree courses.

Study abroadStudy abroad

Anu Parthiban | December 15, 2022 | 11:50 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Over 6 lakh Indian students went abroad this year to pursue higher education; 2 lakh more students compared to last year, the minister of state for education Subhas Sarkar told the Rajya Sabha.

The minister in a written reply said that the “purpose of Indians going abroad for higher education is captured manually based either on their verbal disclosure or the type of visa of the destination country produced by them at the time of immigration clearance.”

According to the data shared by the ministry, the number of students who went to study abroad showed a steady rise from 2017 to 2019. However, the numbers decreased by half in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of students who took admission abroad started taking online classes but the delays caused by COVID-19 and the change in visa processing norms left their future in limbo. Despite the pandemic, the US government issued visas to record 62,000 Indian students and in this year the US Embassy opened 1 lakh appointments for student visas.

Also read | Study Abroad: More students financing overseas education with loans from fintechs

Recently, Asian affairs DG, Liu Jinsong informed that more than 1,300 Indian students received visas to return to China to resume their courses, after waiting for over two years.

4,44,553 students went overseas for higher education in 2021 and 6,46,206 students till November this year, according to the government data.

Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan asked whether the Government is working on any action plan to stop this trend by developing quality Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) in the country itself.

In response, the union minister said, the National Education Policy lays emphasis on internationalization of the higher education system and promotes India as ‘global study destination’ providing premium education at affordable cost.

Also read | How twinning, transfer programmes let students study abroad at half the cost

“For this, a legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India,” he said.

He informed the Rajya Sabha that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has also announced academic collaboration between Indian and foreign universities to offer twinning, joint degree and dual degree programmes.

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