The Hindu Education Plus Fair concludes
CHENNAI: The importance of choosing reliable institutions with accredited courses was stressed by experts on the second and concluding day of The Hindu Education Plus International Education Fair on Saturday.
“Students have shown more interest in going abroad for higher education this year compared to last year. We are asking them to be careful in their choice of institutions,” said C. Vijayalakshmi, educational advising services associate, United States-India Educational Foundation. She said information about institutions in the United States was available at www.chea.org.
Ms. Vijayalakshmi said a number of professionals were applying this year for higher education apart from a large number of college students. After her session on the process of applying for higher studies to the United States, she said the students had the usual questions about the visa process, safety in the United States, and job opportunities.
There were also separate sessions on opportunities presented by officials from countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Holland and Germany.
Arun and his friends, studying in second year engineering, said they had come to understand the process before they started preparing for examinations such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). They indicated that United States and Canada were their first two choices but showed interest in the stalls put up by institutions from other countries too.
Sudha Sudeep, chief representative, Netherlands Business Support Office - Chennai, said the country had tremendous potential due to the number of top-ranked institutions in engineering, agriculture and other fields. As English was spoken widely in the Netherlands, language was not an issue, she said, adding there was increased interest in the country shown by students from India since the office was set up in Chennai last year.
Phillippa Colley, regional manager, Swiss Education Group, said many students had shown interest in the Hospitality postgraduate diploma course offered by the institute she represented. But, most students at the fair wanted to know about opportunities for engineering students in Switzerland.
Students and parents looking for undergraduate education abroad showed a preference for Singapore. Educational consultant Gigeo Sakkaryas said it was mainly because of the cheaper cost of study and the fact that parents were not ready to send their wards too far from home at an early age.
Asked about the recent developments in bringing foreign institutions to set up shop in India, Ms. Vijayalakshmi said that an important aspect of studying abroad was the interactions with a different culture. While domestic institutions would be forced to compete with foreign institutions, this would not affect students wishing to go abroad for higher education. The bank counter set up by State Bank of India also saw a healthy response. Officials said over 100 students indicated interest in availing of loans from the bank. An official said some students in Class XI had also approached the bank to understand the system and prepare themselves for starting their undergraduate education abroad.