US continues to be preferred destination for Indian students; UAE sees a surge

Database maintained by MEA shows there are Indians pursuing higher education in 90 countries

July 27, 2018 07:31 pm | Updated 07:43 pm IST

Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi

Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi

As many as 7,52,725 Indian students are studying abroad, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The US continues to be the preferred destination for Indians pursuing higher education abroad, with Canada and Australia taking the second and third spots. 

The Ministry of External Affairs maintains details of students pursuing education in foreign countries based on inputs received from Indian Missions/Posts abroad.

 "To create a database of Indian students going abroad, on July 15, 2016, Ministry has developed a “Students Registration Module” within the MADAD portal which enables Indian students abroad to register voluntarily and provide data about their courses, location, institution, duration of the course, etc. The registration of students in the portal is an ongoing process, as the movement of Indian students to other countries, change of visa status, and their return to India etc, are dynamic," said Gen. (Retd) V. K. Singh, the junior External Affairs Minister in Rajya Sabha to a question raised by Kirodi Lal Meena during the monsoon session of Parliament.

Indian students are studying in 90 countries as of July 18, 2018. While the United States has the most number of Indian students (2,11,703), Uganda and Serbia have the least — one student each. However, only 4,995 have gone to the US in the last seven months. 

Among the top 10 most preferred destination for studying abroad, United Arab Emirates saw a sharp rise in the influx — from just 500 in December 2017 to 50,000 in July this year — taking it to the fourth place. 

On comparing the data furnished by the Ministry on December 2017 and July 2018, it was found that as many as 27,000 Indian students left New Zealand. The country hosted 30,000 students last year, while only 3,000 are living there now.

Among the neighbouring nations, China hosts most number of Indian students — 18,171. This is followed by Bangladesh (3,600) and Nepal (2,000). Seven Indian students are pursuing the education in Sri Lanka. 

To a question posed to the MEA on December 27, 2017, on the number of incidents in which Indian students living abroad were targetted, Mr. Singh had said 21 such incidents were reported from 10 countries until November 2017. Poland tops the list with nine attacks against Indian students. While 13 incidents were reported in 2015, five were reported in 2016.

Also, 69,322 foreign students are studying in India as of December 27, 2017.

Number of foreign students studying in India

2017 (Till December 27, 2017)69322


(Data visualisation by Varun B. Krishnan)

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