New survey says US preferred choice for Indian students

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Posted on April 23, 2024


4 min read

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A poll has indicated that Indian students prefer studying in the US above the UK, Canada, and Australia.

The US was cited as the preferred destination by 69% of Indian students who replied to the study, followed by the UK at 54% and Canada at 43%.

In addition to 97 current OIEG route program participants, 405 prospective undergraduate and graduate students from India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Vietnam were surveyed for the report.

Of the four major travel destinations, Australia was the least popular, with only 27% of Indian students polled indicating they would consider going there. This is despite the fact that the students were polled in 2023, which was before Australia changed its immigration laws at the end of the year.

It was “interesting to note,” according to the managing director of Oxford International Education Services, which conducted the study, that the US was so well-liked at the moment.

“The appeal of a top-notch education and prestigious universities remains as the primary drivers, despite concerns about affordability and safety,” Mohit Gambir said.

Indian students who are enrolled in US universities recently expressed worries about their safety in light of the three student deaths that have occurred there in the last year.

With 69% of Nigerian students indicating that Canada was their top choice, it was closely followed by the UK (68%), the US (53%) and Australia, which came in last with only 14%.

Students from Pakistan and Vietnam who participated in the study likewise said that the US was their first choice for a travel destination, with 63% and 64%, respectively.

Even still, just 38% of Vietnamese students stated they would consider Australia, but 43% of them thought Vietnam could help Australia catch up.

Parental perspectives were evidently important to the kids in each of the four source countries; according to the poll, they “help shape students’ views of the world.”

Parents were cited as having the greatest influence on a person’s worldview by 71% of respondents from Pakistan and India, 72% of Nigerian respondents, and 62% of Vietnamese respondents.

Gambir said, “The crucial part that parental influence plays in influencing Indian students’ decisions highlights the profound familial impact on educational pursuits.”

With 35% of each cohort indicating they would speak with consultants, Indian and Nigerian students stated they would be more likely to speak with an education agent to assist with selecting their study destination and institution.

Merely 23% of students from Pakistan and 22% of students from Vietnam said they would communicate with agents. Conversely, 62% of Vietnamese students said they would check social media sites, and less than half of Pakistani students said they would visit university websites.

Indian students also attested to the importance of university reputation and educational quality in their decision to pursue a degree, listing reputation as the primary factor driving interest in the UK, Canada, and Australia, while educational quality was the primary motivator for those considering the US.

Work rights are crucial to the Canadian study experience, as indicated by the poll results showing that more people interested in studying there were concerned about being able to work while they studied rather than the quality of education.

A little less than half of those who were considering visiting Australia stated they had “always been interested” in the nation, and 46% of them added that it was a “welcoming and friendly” place.

A similar percentage stated that they had always had a fascination with the UK.

The UK was the most affordable country among all Indian poll respondents, despite the US’s overall popularity among Indian students; yet, the results were still dismal.

Only 28% of respondents thought that course fees in the UK were reasonable, 21% said that in Canada, 20% said that in Australia, and only 9% indicated that in the US, fees were reasonable.

Still, 34% of respondents said they would be able to apply for scholarships in Australia, making it the most popular country to apply to. That percentage was roughly 32% for Canada, 20% for the US, and only 11% for the UK.