Mumbai: India is the second-largest source of students travelling overseas for education. As per the UNESCO Institute of Statistics data, the flow of Indian students to other countries touched the three-lakh mark in 2016.
This figure will continue to increase with increasing students looking to go abroad for higher education. Keeping in mind this demand, The Free Press Journal and NMIMS organised an education conference titled ‘Where do I study overseas?’ at NMIMS auditorium, Vile Parle on Thursday.
The keynote address at the event was delivered by David J Ranz, the US Consul General (CG) in Mumbai. Speaking at the event, Ranz said, “Let me start by saying that I feel the pain whether you are a parent or student.”
He went on to add that it is not very easy to decide one’s career choices, but researching before picking a course or country is the key. Commenting about India and the United States’ relationship, the US diplomat said, “Nearly two lakh Indian students are studying in the US universities. It is almost double of what it was five years ago.”
After the address, there was a panel discussion titled ‘Countries Talk’ which was moderated by RN Bhaskar, Consulting Editor.
The panelists (in alphabetical order) for this session were Bharati Bacha, education advisor on UK education; Shubhada Choudhury, Head, Information Center Mumbai, DAAD India on higher education in Germany; Stefania Costanza, Consul General from Italy on educational opportunities in that country; David Flood, Director – India & South Asia for Enterprise Ireland (higher education in Ireland); Vikash Golla, Manager, Campus France, Mumbai (educational opportunities in France); Ryan Pereira, Regional Officer, United States-India Educational Foundation (education in the US); Carlos Rojas-Arbulú, Consul and Head of Trade & Investment, Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai (on opportunities in Canada) and Jugnu Roy, Country Manager India, Education New Zealand (on educational opportunities there).
Shubhada Choudhury stated, “Last year, 2018, figures suggest that there has been an increase of 18.4 per cent compared to the previous year, taking the student count to 20,810, which is huge.”
David Flood said, “There are large numbers of Indian students in Ireland. Over the years, we have seen doubling of students coming from India to Ireland.”
Talking about France, Vikash Golla said, “Our personal target was to send 10,000 students to France by 2020 but we have already achieved that this year itself.”
Ryan Pereira spoke about the quality and flexibility that US education offers. He added, “US universities have flexibilities in not just the courses that they offer, but also allow you to change your field.”
Bharati Bacha , an education advisor, who is extremely familiar with the do’s and don’ts of British education, said, “United Kingdom has had a reputation of offering quality courses for ages now. Many renowned names and leaders from India have graduated from the UK.”
Stefania Costanza stated that unlike other countries, Italy treats Italian and non-Italian students alike. She added, “We have 5,000 Indian students studying in Italy in private and public universities.”
Jugnu Roy stated that they do not like talking numbers. “For us, offering courses in New Zealand is about providing an international experience to students.”
After the US, Canada is the preferred destination for most Indian students, said Carlos Rojas-Arbulú, “We have around 1,70,000 students studying in Canada. This figure talks a lot about the people to people relationships between both countries.” The second session was about medical education overseas.