By Mrunali Kulkarni, Founder & CEO, Vision International
With over a million Indians studying overseas in 2019, India is now the second largest source of international students in the world. The experience of studying abroad has been valued for a several benefits –
a) the international living experience,
b) superior educational content,
c) the opportunity to create global networks,
d) amazing job opportunities, and
e) a strong credential to carry on their resume.
Covid-19 has impacted almost all of the above areas and looks like this is a blessing in disguise. Findings suggest that COVID-19 has impacted the decision of almost 50% students who have aspired to study abroad in the recent past. Since the international higher education is deemed to be very expensive, reduced chances of employment in the home country with significantly lower return on investment play a key role to this shift. In this post-covid world, universities are required to reconnect with students outside their “home” country, understand what they care about and really want, in order to grab their attention.
A survey conducted showed that offering post-study work visas and gaining international work experience are key concerns of students and parents within the Indian sub-continent. It is interesting to note that education institutions are adapting e-learning practices to showcase the plethora of courses they offer and are also indulging in heavy scholarship discount packages to students, just to ensure their country’s GDP is being maintained at this point in time.
More than 25 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded worldwide, out of which about 7 million active cases are being seen until the end of August 2020. This deadly virus has brought countries to a standstill with several of them imposing restrictions on international travel.
However, the value for money and university brand being showcased overweigh these numbers thus allowing universities and foreign institutions to redefine their higher education offering.
The need to move from a transactional product-based approach to a solutions based one has been one of the biggest key development strategies, universities have learnt, in order to be successful.
The Way Forward
High demand specialization courses like Medical Coding, Machine Learning, Cyber Security and Data Science are in high demand. The other impactful ones are Business related courses with a hybrid model, i.e. Engineering Management, MSc in Supply Chain and Project Management opportunities are being closely followed by Indian students, giving them hope about what can be a great return on their investment after course completion.
As a prospective international student, you are obviously wondering, what next? Engage in as much conversation as possible to gain maximum amount of information. I being the Founder and CEO of Vision International, now conduct online counselling sessions with students, free of cost.