Trends, insights and research to inform growth and innovation strategies in international higher education.

July 29, 2012

Undergraduate application trends from Asia to the UK

Admissions seasons in the UK is in high gear. A recent article in the Guardian notes, "This is the first cohort of undergraduates paying fees of up to £9,000 a year and uncertainty about how they will behave has been giving university heads some seriously sleepless nights....And there is no doubt that, in this complicated game of admissions poker, the stakes are alarmingly high."

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July 25, 2012

Higher barriers for Indian students wanting to study abroad

2012 is turning dreams of many Indian students for studying abroad into nightmare.

Cost and challenges of affordability: Economic slowdown in India and currency depreciation has made foreign education more expensive. Karin Fischer of the Chronicle in her article Colleges Are Wary of Global Economy's Effect on Foreign Enrollments highlighted these cost challenges for Indian students. I mentioned in the article that there are two distinct segments of students--affluent and aspiring. Affluent students are prestige-conscious while aspiring students are price-conscious. It is the aspiring segment which is struggling to find its way to study abroad.

Fraud and tighter visa policies: All major destination countries are becoming more vigilant about the fraud issues. In June, UK, Australia and Canada announced a joint-statement for curbing immigration fraud. The statement cautions students "Do not be misled by unscrupulous agents into believing that it is acceptable to submit forged documents with your visa application. The application will be refused and you face further investigation by the Indian authorities." UK has already tightened its visa norms as they found from a pilot study that the UK could’ve rejected 59% of Indian student visas.

In the same month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report DHS Needs to Assess Risks and Strengthen Oversight Functions which highlighted that "...during fiscal year 2011, CTCEU (Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit) analyzed 48 percent more leads on potential school and student visa fraud than in fiscal year 2010." The report noted examples like Tri-Valley University where institution was involved in fraud.

This is a very vulnerable time for Indian students as they are in the "search stage" of identifying their best fit options and given the double whammy of affordability and visa policy challenges, number of Indian students going abroad may get seriously influenced for fall 2012 admissions cycle.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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July 15, 2012

Indian "glocal" students go to China to study medicine

China continues to gain traction as a destinations for many Indian students aiming to pursue a degree in medicine. This is a prime example of Glocal students--global aspiration, local education. Glocals are characterized by aspirations that usually outstrip both their ability to afford a full fee-paying overseas education and their academic merit to gain admission to an overseas institution with financial aid. Here is the full article on glocals.

Why are Indian students interested in China?
Apart from China's attractiveness for lower cost of education and admissions standards, there is serious capacity constraint in India and competition for admission in medical colleges in India is intense to say the least.

An article aimed at attracting Indian medical students to China posted on China Education and Research Network (CERNET) by China's University And College Admission System (CUCAS) states:

"Are you an Indian student wandering how to become a doctor? Scared by the high admission requirement and expensive tuition fee? Why not take a glance at the MBBS programs in China universities? The lower admission requirement, relatively lower tuition fee, and internationally recognized degree have attracted thousands of Indian students to China."
CUCAS offers very detailed information related to medical degree with specific focus on Indian students including article like  "Top 10 Reasons to Study MBBS in China" and "Cost Comparison of Studying MBBS in US, UK, China, India and Pakistan"

There are also issues of quality of programs and recognition of medical degree from China in India. To this end, Indian Embassy also posted guidelines for Indian students interested in studying in China. Among their factors to consider they even added "Because of incorrect information received from agents or other sources, it has been seen that many students come to China without the required financial resources or support....Students are exploited by some agents in India who present a false picture of what life is like in China and by unscrupulous educational institutions."

In addition, Medical Council of India (MCI) and Chinese government has worked to facilitate information dissemination to prospective Indian students. Currently, only 50 Chinese medical institutions are approved to accept international students for English medium instruction programs. The approved annual intake of international students in Chinese medical institutions increased from 2,095 to 5,030 in five years from 2007-08 to 2012-13 indicating a clear increase in demand.

Here is a video clip from CNN-IBN "Made in China" Indian doctors.


Dr. Rahul Choudaha

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July 04, 2012

Interest in Foreign MBA: Chinese Women on Top

Interest for studying Business/Management programs abroad has significantly grown among Chinese women as seen from the number of GMAT test-takers.

Chinese women outstrip all segments among BRIC countries both in terms of percentage growth and absolute numbers of GMAT test-takers, even surpassing males in all four countries. With more than 25,000 Chinese women taking GMAT in 2010-11, it is the single largest segment showing consistent growth over the years.

Number of Chinese women taking GMAT increased by nearly 18,000 in five years from 2006-07 to 2010-11 as compared to decline in women test-takers in the US by 2,775 from 48,510 to 45,735 in the same period.

It seems that a confluence of sociocultural and economic factors are offering more opportunities for Chinese women to study business programs abroad.


Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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