After Donald Trump took over as the US President, Indian students have begun to reconsider if US is the best destination for education. More and more Indian students are now preferring Canada and Europe to the US.
Experts say Trump’s policies would not be the only reason contributing to the changed preferences of Indian students. Attacks on Indians in the US after his election may have also led to the shift.
Statistics suggest the number of Indian students going to the US for higher education rose only 12.3% in 2016-17, a three-year low. The number had grown by 24.9% in 2015-16 and 29.4% in 2014-15. A total of 1,86,267 Indians studying are studying in the US.
However, the number of Indian students going to study in Canada and Europe is rising rapidly. According to official data, 31,975 Indian students went to Canada in 2015, increasing to 52,890 in 2016. The number till August this year is 44,855 and is likely to be more than 2016.
Europe too may have gained the numbers the US lost. In 2016, 11,300 Indian students went to the UK, 2 per cent more than the previous year. In 2015-16, 14,000 Indian students enrolled in Germany, the second-most popular destination. The number has been consistently growing by 15-20 per cent per year.
Why Indian students are attracted to European countries? It is because of the ready availability of courses in English medium, lower fees, scholarships and funding, and better post-study work rights. The total number of Indian students in the European Union is estimated to be around 45,000.
According to the findings of a survey by The Institute of International Education released in July this year, Indian students have a high level of concern about a potential study in the US. A large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed.