According to the survey, engineering is the most preferred subject for Indian students wishing to study abroad at 18 percent, followed by computer science at 12 percent and business administration at 11 percent. More specifically, within engineering, 24 percent are more interested in advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), 17 percent in healthcare and 16 percent in the environment and climate change.
Furthermore, more than 78 percent of students say the pandemic has influenced their decision on which subject to study abroad, according to the INTO University Partnerships survey. More than 1,250 Indian students took part in the survey which showed how the pandemic has affected their career aspirations and led to an increase in interest in topics such as advanced technologies, health-related studies and climate change.
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The survey further found that the main motivation for students to study abroad is the higher quality education and skills offered by institutions abroad (22 percent), followed by the belief that studying abroad provides the opportunity to living in the host country after graduation will increase (11 percent). Similarly, students cite improved job prospects as the top reason for studying abroad (11 percent).
The US remains the top destination for Indian students (31 percent), followed by Canada (23 percent) and the UK (17 percent). A significant proportion of students are also considering institutions in Asia (12 percent), considering the proximity and economic return of these countries.
Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand have seen a decline in student interest over the past two years due to border closures and travel restrictions. However, with the recent reopening of the borders, these numbers could rise rapidly.
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The findings also found that 35 percent of students choose a country as their study destination based on the job prospects in that country, indicating the critical importance of career success and strong return on investment in decision-making about their study abroad. Meanwhile, 33 percent of students choose their destination country because of the higher quality of education, and 32 percent prefer to gain the right study experience, fame and expertise for the field they want to pursue.
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