Drastic Dip in Foreigners Coming to India for Education & Research in 2015

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Education sector is now expanding globally. But, a recent survey says, that the number of foreign students coming to India saw a drastic decline in 2014-15 compared with 2013-14 academic years. The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) was jubilant in August when it hosted students from 19 global management schools for a course. But barring such isolated cases, now, there are decrease in foreign students coming to study to India.

According to official data from home ministry, the number of students from the top eight countries — the US, the UK, South Korea, Australia, China, Singapore, Germany and France — has fallen from 13,961 in 2013 to 3,737 in 2014. There had been a marginal increase in 2013 from 2012, when the number was 12,424.

More Information on foreign students approaching India for Studies:

Every Country is exchanging students for education and research in various fields. Experts say no one reason can be given for the sudden dip but the way forward, as pointed out by people such as Professor C N R Rao, Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy and others, is to improve the quality of institutions to attract more foreign student to India.

Students from over 160 countries came to India in these three years:

  • The decline is seen not just in those coming from countries ranked higher than India.
  • But even from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and from many African countries.
  • The number of students from Bangladesh fell from 1,954 (2013) to 1,247 (2014).
  • The number of students coming from Afghanistan fell from 6,508 (2013) to 5,738 (2014).
  • And Sri Lanka, from 2,502 to 1,492 in the corresponding period.
  • The number from Pakistan has been insignificant over the years.

Some experts say, it is a lesson or a reflection of where Indian institutions stand globally.  The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the only Indian institute to be ranked within the top 100 global ones, had just 25 full-time foreign students in 2014.

In June 2015, Usha Vijayaraghavan, IISc international cell chairperson, made a presentation on what the IISc has been doing to improve its standing and the challenges in future.

She said-“While we are doing collaborative work with some of the best universities abroad, the challenge is to attract more foreign students and faculty to do research here. We have a long way to go in that direction and efforts are on.”

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Praveen Jain
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