In the unfolding narrative of 2023, the trajectory of outbound Indian student mobility has undergone a significant transformation. Notably, the UK and the US have garnered increased shares of Indian students, while Australia has witnessed remarkable growth in Indian enrolments compared to the previous year.
CANADA’S DIPLOMATIC CHALLENGE
However, the recruitment and admissions departments of Canadian educational institutions face hurdles due to an unresolved diplomatic dispute between Canada and India. This disagreement has strained relations and impeded Canada’s immigration department’s capacity to process Indian study permit applications.
“Strained India/Canada relations are affecting visa processing.”
IMPACT ON VISA PROCESSING
As of October 2023, only five immigration staff remains in India for processing Indian visa applications, resulting in a significant backlog and slower overall processing times. The diplomatic impasse has also led to uncertainties about when relations between the two countries will improve.
Indian applicants should expect slower overall processing times and responses to enquiries due to limited resources within the department.”
The UK has experienced a surge in study visas, with Indian students constituting about 30% of the nearly 500,000 study visas granted for the year ending June 2023. This marks a 54% year-over-year increase, solidifying India’s position as the leading sender, surpassing historical leader China.
“The nearly 143,000 visas granted to Indian students represent a year-over-year increase of 54%.”
US DOMINANCE AND STRATEGIC VISION
The US has seen a major uptick in Indian student numbers, with almost equal representation to Chinese students on active visas. A national strategy and surpassing visa processing goals underscore the strengthening ties between the US and India. Since 2020, Indian student numbers have grown by more than 30%, in contrast to a -29% contraction of the Chinese market.
Australia’s international education sector is witnessing a post-pandemic recovery driven by a 34% increase in Indian student numbers from January to August 2023. The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement further facilitates student mobility between the two nations.
Despite diplomatic challenges and shifting dynamics, the number of Indian students studying abroad is projected to surge from approximately 1 million in 2019 to potentially 2 million by 2025. The Indian Student Mobility Report 2023 highlights the increasing significance of India as a prized market for global education.
“The number of Indian students enrolled in studies abroad is expected to climb from roughly 1 million as of 2019 to as many as 2 million by 2025.”
In closing, as the geopolitical landscape evolves, so does the map of Indian student mobility, presenting opportunities and challenges for both students and institutions worldwide.