- Study in India programs aims at attracting over 200,000 international students
- Merit-based full and partial scholarships available for international students from target countries
- International students are seen as ambassadors in their home countries and a way for India to increase its soft power
A lot has been said about Indian students traveling abroad for higher education but did you know that for many students of developing countries, India is a preferred destination for education? Yes, the Study in India program has made India a favorite amongst students in developing countries.
Check the official website – https://www.studyinindia.gov.in/ – to know more about the program
In the year 2017-18 alone, 46,144 students from other countries were enrolled in Indian educational institutions. These students came from 166 different countries.
While the number may be small in comparison to Indian students abroad, it is a marked increase from the 6,988 international students enrolled in Indian colleges in 2000.
Read: The 9 Best Countries To Study In Asia
Study In India – International Students In Indian
The composition of the international student population in India has been changing over the years.
Currently, almost one-fourth of these students hail from Nepal. Afghanistan is the second biggest source country with 9.5% of the student population calling this country their own.
While a large number of students come from Africa, the number has been dropping. Nigeria stood at 4th place in 2017 but a year later slipped to 5th place.
|% In 2017-18||24.9||9.5||4.8||4.3||4%|
A majority of international students in India are enrolled in undergraduate courses. Two of the most popular courses are Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Technology.
A number of foreign students are also enrolled in medicine and engineering courses. It is interesting to note that male students outnumber female students in also most all categories.
The Study In India Program
In April 2018, the Government of India announced an initiative called Study in India to encourage foreign students to come to India for their education.
The program was launched by 4 ministries; the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Home Ministry, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce.
It aims at attracting over 200,000 foreign students to Indian universities. This is about 4 times the number of foreign students currently enrolled in colleges across India.
Study In India Program Objectives
The objectives of this program have been defined as:
- Improving India’s soft power as a tool for diplomacy with a focus on neighboring countries
- Increase number of inbound international students
- Increase India’s market share in global education exports from 1% to 2%
- Increase the monetary contribution of international students in India through direct and indirect expenditure
- Improve the overall quality of higher education in India
- Boost India’s global ranking as a destination for education
- Correct the export-import imbalance of Indian students heading abroad and inbound foreign students
The program targets students from 30 countries in Asia, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States that were once a part of the Soviet Union. Social media campaigns to encourage students from these countries to look at India as an educational hub have already resulted in over 2,500 students signing up for counseling.
Study In India Program Features
The salient features of this program are:
- An expenditure of Rs 150 crores ( $21.5 million) has been approved for promotional activities between 2018-2020
- Ease of student visa regulations
- Partial or full merit-based scholarships to international students
- Single window system for all admissions to the 160 universities that are part of the program
- 25,000 seats set aside for international students at undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D. levels
- More than 1500 courses available
- Streamlined procedures for students at foreigners’ regional registration office
How India Can Benefit From A Growing International Student Population
It isn’t just international students who stand to benefit from better opportunities for education in India. The Indian government also sees foreign students as ambassadors of India in their home countries. This is a way for India to extend its soft power overseas.
The education sector is also a way to attract foreign exchange. Even with tuition fee waivers, students will still have to spend a certain amount on their accommodation, food, entertainment, etc.
In 2017-18, Indian students abroad spent around $2.8 billion on tuition and hostel fees. For the same year, foreign students in Indian colleges and universities spent only $479 million.
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