Indian Ministry of External Affairs stats show that 753,000 Indian students were studying abroad, as of July 2018. This makes India the world’s second-highest exporters of international students after China.
As with overall demographic trends, we can expect that India will soon overtake its Northeast Asian neighbour. This is partially a consequence of said demographic trends, and partially due to an oversubscribed HE sector. While China has run a concerted campaign to expand domestic HE provision, top Indian universities remain among the world’s most competitive in admissions-terms.
This means that there will be a surplus of talented students for which internationally-minded universities will be competing. As it stands, 75% of Indian international students study in five countries. These are the US, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. A mix, then, of top Anglophone HE exporters, and Gulf states looking to shift to knowledge economies.
The latter have invested heavily in universities, which seemingly – like their labour markets – rely on South Asian human capital. This adds a new level of competition for traditional study abroad markets like the UK.
The UK saw peak new enrolments in Indian students 2010/11, with just shy of 24,000 first-year students (HESA data). This figure took a plunge in the years following, falling as low as 9,090 in 2015/16. We are seeing what looks like a recovery, however, with 2018/19’s 17,760 new Indian students well up on 2017/18’s 12,465.
So, how can you compete for your share of these Indian students? Here are three tips to help you gain an edge on domestic and international rivals.