Citizens' Issues
Indian students still keen on studying abroad despite strict visa norms, slowing economy

Prashant Bhonsale, country head of Credila Financial Services, confirms the rising trend in the number of loan applicants. “In our experience the number of students applying to study abroad is rising. There is definitely an uptrend”

Signs of slowing global economy, strict visa norms in the UK with scrapping of student visa scheme and stringent immigration policies seem to have little impact on Indian students preferring to study abroad. While experts say that the overall market is down, statistics on loan applications and students taking GRE suggest otherwise.

“There has been 25%-30% decline in the market. We believe that there are many students who would still want to pursue higher education abroad owing to the quality aspect of learning. These changes also have to do with the economic cycle. If there is slowdown, students expect a boom period as well. Meanwhile, there are some universities which are also offering work as a part of the course,” Richard Lasrado, director, Education Abroad Counselling told Moneylife.

Prashant Bhonsale, country head of Credila Financial Services, a private lender specializing in education loans, confirms the rising trend in the number of loan applicants. “In our experience the number of students applying to study abroad is rising. There is definitely an uptrend.”

The US, UK and Canada are the preferred destinations for higher education among Indian students. The UK government last year announced a host of changes in the criteria for student visas. Accordingly, the Tier-1, or post-study route will be closed from April 2012. This route had provided students an access to the job market for two years after completing a course and allowed them to take up low-skilled jobs. As per the new rule, only graduates having an offer for a skilled job, with a minimum salary of 20,000 pounds a year from a sponsoring employer will be able to stay on and work, provided the job matches a student’s skills. The company, where the student would work, also has to be registered to accept overseas workers in the Tier-2 point system.

Reports confirm a 30% drop in the applications to study in UK, from Indian students and few students have also cancelled their plans. However, experts say many are still keen to go abroad for their education.

In fact, the GRE test, mandatory for students choosing to study in the US, has also seen a 43% rise in the numbers of students. From 47,276 students in 2010, it jumped to 67,605 students in 2011, surpassing the number of Chinese applicants.

Another Mumbai-based counsellor explains that other countries like the US and Canada will try to attract more students. “These numbers may not actually mirror the reality. But it clearly indicates the students’ choice. It is clear that students want to experience studying/working abroad. Apart from the US, UK, other countries like Canada, Australia and Singapore are also aggressively attracting students.”

Recently, Jim Nickel, deputy high commissioner of Canada, said that his country will welcome Indian students as part of strengthening its bilateral ties with India. He also informed that the numbers of Indian students have increased four times from only 3,000 in the past two years and around 50 Indian universities have already tied up with 35 Canadian universities for academic and research activities.

 Meanwhile, British Council and Universities UK have opposed the changes in the visa rules, as it could impact the number of students going to the UK.




5 years ago

I certainly hope that the visa rules are straightened out. Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity for anybody from ANY country, and visas to do so should be generally freely given, in my opinion.


5 years ago

Something that must make our HRD ministry and all educationists as well as social scientists ponder over our own education system and the cost of higher education in the country. Should there be a tax on our students going out of India for higher studies?



In Reply to AB 5 years ago

Your first sentence was absolutely right. But the second sentence negated it. Our system must improve and provide equal opportunities.

Interest rate cut only after RBI policy review: Yes Bank

“Deposit rates will remain unchanged as these are for long-term benefit,” said Yes Bank MD, Rana Kapoor

Private sector lender Yes Bank said it will cut interest rates if the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decides to further ease the liquidity situation at the monetary policy review next month. “We are discussing... we will definitely consider it (rate cut) once we see a visible and more focused shift in bringing CRR down in the monetary policy,” Yes Bank managing director and CEO Rana Kapoor told reporters.

He said, however, deposit rates will remain unchanged as these are “for long-term benefit”.

Mr Kapoor added, “There is an overall expectation that the monetary policy next month should relax CRR. I think there is a built-in expectation of 0.5% reduction in CRR, accompanied by OMO (open market operations) interventions to ease the liquidity pressures.”

The central bank in its last policy review reduced Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), the amount the banks are required to maintain with the central bank, by 0.5% to 5.5% to release Rs32,000 crore of primary liquidity into the system. The RBI is expected to take more steps in its policy review on 15 March 2012 to ease the liquidity situation to promote economic growth which is expected to moderate to 6.9% in the current fiscal from 8.4% a year ago.


DoT asks Idea, Vodafone to provide info on mobile Internet users

The security agencies have long been asking the operators to set up a system which allows identification of individual user based on the information of IP address, date and time

New Delhi: The Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked telecom operators Idea Cellular and Vodafone to provide to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) identification of subscribers using Internet on their mobile phones, reports PTI.

DoT officials said instructions have been issued to Idea and Vodafone to provide the requisite information to the IB at the earliest.

The security agency had sought details of some mobile numbers by providing the corresponding IP addresses to Vodafone but the telecom operator failed to respond.

DoT has also instructed other operators to put in place a suitable mechanism that would allow the security agencies to uniquely identify the individual user based on the information provided by them.

The security agencies have long been asking the operators to set up a system which allows identification of individual user based on the information of IP address, date and time.

The IB had earlier also raised objections regarding the practice of mobile operators using network address translation (NAT) device wherein a single IP address is used for many connections, they said.

The IB had said that in the absence of user-identifying logging mechanism at the NAT, despite IP address, date and time stamps, service providers are unable to pinpoint the exact target of a particular communication over the Internet.


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