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World-class education and renowned faculty lure students

By Jitin Chawla,

According to UCAS 2021 analysis, 9,930 applications were submitted by Indians to study in UK.

The usual top countries in the ‘to be considered’ list of students are UK, USA, Canada and Australia, writes career counsellor Jitin Chawla.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic raining on the proverbial parade of students marching to their universities abroad, enthusiasm shows little sign of waning. According to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) analysis, as of June 30, 2021, 9,930 applications were submitted by the Indians to study in the United Kingdom against the 7,640 last year i.e., the percentage of applications swelled by 30%.

It does not come as much of a surprise since overseas educational institutes are known to provide world-class education, renowned faculty, extensive opportunities for research and employment opportunities. The usual top-cats in the ‘to be considered’ list of students are UK, USA, Canada and Australia. However, the students today are revising the metric by which they assess potential universities—permanent residence, post-study work scenario, career advancement, social- security provisions, habitability etc. These, in addition to the quality of the education, environment, academic and professional resources etc.

Certain metrics may outweigh others based on variables specific to a student or their situation. Nevertheless, here’s a list of countries popular and emerging as popular hubs for international students (in no particular order).

CANADA
Considered one of the more PR friendly countries, it attracts numerous international students to its institutions in spite of having relatively few universities at higher rankings. The affordable tuition fees, favourable post-study work permit scenario, employment opportunities, cultural diversity and friendly environment have made it a popular choice among students and even working adults. Some of the renowned institutions are the University of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia, McMaster University, University of Waterloo (co-op programmes), etc.

UNITED KINGDOM
It ticks the boxes for prestigious universities, exceptional faculty, cultural exposure, scenic views, and academic rigour. A bit on the pricey side of things, but it provides a two-year post-study work permit to students to advance their careers.
Some of the ranked universities there include: University of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Kings College, LSE, UCL etc.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The universities of the USA have consistently maintained their top spots in global rankings over the years. Certainly, expensive from a financial standpoint, but institutions there provide ample financial aids and scholarships to buffer the tuition fees. United Sates of America is best known for its variety in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM )courses and research.

Some of the prestigious universities are Harvard University, MIT, University of California- Los Angeles, University of California- Berkeley, Stanford University, New York University among others.

GERMANY
Public universities ask for little to no tuition fee, even from international students, making it a country easy on the pocket for students. The universities there provide classes in the English language. The universities there boast of good Finance, IT, engineering and PhD programmes. Renowned universities of the country are the Technical University of Munich, Free University of Berlin, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Heidelberg University etc.

AUSTRALIA
If compared to the USA and UK, it has affordable tuition fees and similar to Canada, it provides a two-year post-study work permit to students for the regional area they were studying. Programmes popular amongst students include accountancy, actuarial science, agricultural sciences, architecture and psychology. Popular universities of the country are the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Australian National University, University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide.

FINLAND
In addition to the safety within its borders, high standard of living, picturesque environment, universities in Finland boast an excellent education system.

As a student, one will be able to get a one-year post-study visa to cover one’s stay as they search for a job there. The tuition fees there can range from anywhere between €5,000 and €18,000.

The students paying the tuition fees can avail themselves of scholarships and, if it does continue to constitute a matter of concern, one can work towards mastering Finnish or Swedish, as students of any and all nationalities are not required to pay any fees for studying courses taught in those languages.

The most notable courses there are provided in Data Science and business. Given the high quality of education and vast opportunities available, this is emerging as a popular hub for students. Some of the known universities are the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, University of Turku, etc.

IRELAND
This is an affordable study location with top-end universities. With a diverse culture, a good job market and a two-year post work permit option, it is a suitable location for those looking to develop their career. It is preferred among students for its courses in Auditing / Accounting, IT, Data Analytics and Data Sciences Ranked universities of the country include Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Galway etc.

NETHERLANDS
Providing highly affordable tuition, education majorly in the English language—more so than other European countries and excellent pedagogy, this country has been increasingly popular among students.

Several of its universities rank within the top 150 and upon studying in the Netherlands, one will have the choice to work anywhere within the EU. The most famous programmes are provided in product design, management, software engineering, and psychology. Popular universities include the University of Amsterdam, University of Twente, University of Groningen, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences.

While preparing, one should ensure that their profile corroborates with the programme they are applying for. The planning should be carried out with consideration, thorough research, and good counsel. In the end though, these countries are not the be-all and end-all for any student. The suitability of the course, affordability, employment opportunities must fit the will and plans of the student.

Jitin Chawla, founder, Centre for Career Development. Views expressed are personal.