India is the second largest source of internationally mobile students around the world. According to the UNESCO data, in 2015, nearly 234,000 Indian students were enrolled in universities and colleges abroad. In contrast, Indian universities and colleges hosted nearly 39,000 degree-seeking international students.
The Government of India is keen on enhancing the attractiveness of India as a destination for international students. At the same time, some Indian institutions are keen on making use of the 15% additional seats available to them for enrolling foreign students.
However, India faces increasing competition as many other destinations have already been active in creating government policies and institutional capacities for attracting global talent. For example, in 2015, Malaysia and China hosted more than 60,000 and 123,000 degree-seeking international students, respectively.
The recent FICCI Higher Education Summit convened institutional leaders, policy makers, and education experts to deliberate on opportunities for and challenges in attracting foreign students to India.
I participated in one of the panels at the Summit and presented four primary strategic approaches that can help Indian institutions attract more international students.
- Enhancing country image
- Bridging information gaps
- Understanding international student segments
- Investing in international student experience
In sum, some Indian institutions have the right blend of ambition and potential to attract international students. However, realizing the goals will require proactive and informed strategies which are designed to support student success.
-Dr. Rahul Choudaha