Study in India failing to attract more foreign students
The latest All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report has noted that the Study in India campaign is failing to attract more foreign students to study in the country, with only a marginal rise seen enrolments.
The Government of India, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, launched the Study in India campaign in 2018 with the aim of attracting an increased number of foreign students in India.
Through the Study in India campaign, the government had also hoped to double the market share of India in global education exports from around 1% to 2%.
However, the latest AISHE report noted that the Government of India has failed to see a rise in the number of foreign students and, from 2016-2017 to 2018-19, enrolment numbers have declined slightly from 47,575 to 47,427.
But an official from the Department of Higher Education insists that there has been some benefit of the campaign and that Study in India is not failing.
The government official told The Indian Express that “In 2018, around 1,000 students from foreign countries took admission in Study in India programme, which increased to 3,000 in 2019.”
India a big draw to South Asian and African students
Currently, foreign students in India are chiefly coming in from 6 countries, and Nepal tops the list with 26.88 per cent.
Other countries with students choosing to study abroad in India include Afghanistan (9.8 per cent), Bangladesh (4.38 per cent), Sudan (4.02 per cent), Bhutan (3.82 per cent) and Nigeria (3.4 per cent).
The government hopes to push these numbers up and attract students from 30 nations.
Impact of global rankings on foreign students’ perspective of India
One hurdle that the government faces in attracting foreign students is its global ranking in the educational sector.
The Economic Times states that though the overall representation of India increased in the previous year it dropped out of the top 300 in world rankings (Times Higher Education).
Recently, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations announced that India is looking to introduce its own version of a language test like TOEFL in order to ‘increase the countries ranking for higher education globally’.