Indian college applicants are flocking to tier-2 and -3 colleges abroad due to the increased fight for places amid a general increase in the number of applicants, according to education advisors.
In comparison to Ivy League universities like Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, and Brown, as well as other top-tier colleges like MIT, Stanford, and California Institute of Technology, which have admittance acceptance rates of fewer than 7%, the second-tier schools are simpler to get into. According to experts, they are also relatively more affordable and offer good employment prospects after graduation.
“India’s growing middle class means that there are now more college-age students looking for a high-quality education abroad,” said study abroad career consultant. Very few Indian students can get admission into the eight Ivy Leagues and the absolutely top-rung universities. Hence, students are looking at other well-known universities such as the University of Texas at Austin, UCLA, Purdue, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and Duke University,” he added. “These universities also provide students with high-quality education and good job opportunities after graduation.”
The rise in family income levels, the ease of obtaining loans, and increased knowledge of international education in small cities and towns are the main factors driving the surge in undergraduate students seeking foreign degrees in recent years.
A CEO of a study-abroad consulting firm, said: “A few years back, good-profile aspirants would not budge on the university list, which would always be in the top rank. But now with competition going through the roof, the similarly profiled students are willing to apply to the next best programmes.”
This year, for the first time ever, UK’s Loughborough University had more Indian students than Chinese, said its vice-chancellor and president Nick Jennings. “We have a total of 900 Indian students at the university now, out of which 600 are new entrants who joined this year,” he said. Though more than 80% of these students are in post-graduate degrees, the number of Indians in undergraduate courses is also increasing.
The United States is the most sought-after travel destination, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and European nations including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Computer science, business studies, and STEM-related fields including artificial intelligence, data science, and cyber security are the most popular fields of study among Indians.
According to Akshay Chaturvedi, founder & CEO of study-overseas portal Leverage Edu, “Affordability and employability are the two key reasons for the increasing popularity of the second- and third-tier colleges abroad.”