Study: US is the most popular destination for higher education
According to a study, the United States hosts nearly three times as many Indian students as the UK and is the most popular destination for higher education. US has over 4,800 institutions and accounted for 25% of the top 200 universities in the world
With nearly 105,000 Indian students in U.S. higher education institutions, the United States hosts nearly three times as many Indian students as the UK, which hosted about 36,000, and five times as many Indian students as Australia, which hosted approximately 21,000 Indian students according to Institute of International Education (IIE). "The US is highly popular with students around the world because of the number of high quality educational institutions", said Ganesh Kohli, Co-founder and Director of KIC UnivAssist, and a well-known educational counselor.
Kohli added, "United States has over 4,800 accredited institutions and accounted for over 25% of the top 200 universities in the world as per the QS World University Rankings published in 2010." With almost 20 million students enrolled in these educational institutions, United States accounts for one of the largest higher education systems in the world.
Swaraj Nandan, Co-founder said, "Many U.S. institutions rank among the best in the world. For example Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Columbia universities are all recognized for providing the best academic environments for students to excel i.e. world class faculty, cutting edge coursework and infrastructure. The US also offers the most exciting career prospects to international students e.g. as per the 2009 TopMBA.com survey, average salary of a US. MBA graduate was over $90,000 as compared with $87,000 for an MBA graduate from Europe.
The US is welcoming talented students from around the world and wants them to be a catalyst in America's growth. US President Barak Obama said in the state of union address last month "many students come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense. Let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation."
The study also found that the decision to apply to universities is highly complex with students and parents considering a variety of factors in the choice. The primary factors that are considered are ranking of the university, quality of programs, cost of tuition and living, whether relatives live close by, etc. Usually a high school counselor plays a very important role in guiding the student and their parents regarding the options available. At times students also take the help of paid counselors who can help them in the choice of universities and also guide them regarding the application process.
In a survey conducted among students by KIC, almost 70% of the students felt it was important to interact personally with universities. Leveraging this learning, KIC UnivAssist has designed small group tours to provide one on one interaction between the students and the universities. During this tour there are four quality educational institutions that are traveling with KIC including the Foothill and DeAnza community colleges from California, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Cincinnati and University of Northern Iowa.
The mix provides an opportunity for students to get information about the programs these institutions offer, the diverse career choices and also scholarship opportunities available. Over the next 10 days the tour will visit high schools in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi showcasing the US institutions to students wishing to pursue their Bachelors degree in the US.
India is at an exciting stage with annual economic growth forecasted at 8% for the next decade and with half its population under 25 years of age. Experts say India's "youth bulge" could turn out to be its greatest asset or a significant challenge if the country fails to provide education and jobs for its burgeoning workforce. As India continues to work towards this massive goal, Indian students will continue to consider quality educational institutions internationally for higher studies.