As per the Ministry of External Affairs data, more than 60,000 students from Kolkata have gone abroad to study since 2016. The growth in the number of students from the city choosing to study overseas skyrocketed to 16,000 in the year 2019 but plunged when the pandemic hit the world in 2020.
It was reflected in the loan applications GyanDhan received that year, which grew only 13% compared to 2019. In the last two years, the number of loan applications for education abroad grew by 150% compared to the previous 5 years (2016-2020).
The allure of higher studies abroad have attracted more than 7.50 lakh Indian students in 2022, who chose top study destinations, such as the USA, the UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia for their undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
It is 68% more than the number of students who went abroad for education in 2021. The number has consistently increased over the years - 4.4 lakh students in 2021, 2.59 lakh in 2020, 5.86 lakh in 2019, 5.17 lakh in 2018, and 4.54 lakh in 2017 chose overseas universities.
Check out: 7 major financial tips for students studying abroad
Engineering courses like Computer Science, Data Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Business Analytics are the most preferred programmes of students from Kolkata. These are closely followed by courses like Supply Chain Management, Business Analytics, Internationational Business Management, Biotechnology, and Public Health.
Students from Kolkata have been increasingly drawn to studying abroad in countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia. These countries offer a plethora of advantages, making them preferred destinations for students looking to pursue higher education.
The United States, for instance, is renowned for its world-class universities and research opportunities, which attract thousands of Indian students each year. It was reflected in the record number of US student visas issued to Indian students closing at 1.25 lakh in 2022. The country is also known for its diverse culture and exposure to various industries, making it an ideal place for students looking to gain practical experience in their fields of study.
Read: How to have a fruitful experience studying in the USA
Similarly, the United Kingdom is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Students choose to study in the UK for its rich academic tradition and a strong focus on research and innovation. Ever since the introduction of the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR), which allows students to stay back in the country for up to 2 years, the UK’s popularity among Indian students has further risen.
Also read: Calcutta girl, Arunima Ghosh shares what it’s like to study in the UK
Canada, Germany, and Australia are also popular choices among students from the city of joy. Germany is known as a hub for technological innovation and scientific research. The country's universities offer a range of programmes in fields such as engineering, computer science, and renewable energy. These countries provide students with access to world-class education, cutting-edge research opportunities, diverse cultural experiences, and a welcoming environment that fosters academic and personal growth. It is no wonder that these countries are at the top of the list for students looking to broaden their horizons and pursue their academic dreams.
With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is a leading contender to send its youth abroad for higher education. According to reports, in the last year alone, 3,40,000 Indian students decided to study abroad. However, when you consider the better standards of living, world-class opportunities, and higher-quality education, this does not seem quite as surprising.