Skip to Content

### Barriers Hindering Indian Women from Pursuing Education Overseas

Even with an increasing number of individuals pursuing higher education, various obstacles still persist.

According to a survey conducted by MSM Unify, female respondents highlighted financial constraints as the primary hindrance in their educational aspirations. This encompasses a lack of information regarding scholarships, grants, and access to various financial aids. The extensive visa application process and waiting period (17%) emerged as the second significant challenge, as indicated by the survey results.

Monica Kapadia Mehta, the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Leap Scholar, concurs with these findings and introduces family obligations as another significant deterrent.

“Two primary challenges impede women from seeking advanced education overseas: familial responsibilities and inadequate familial backing for funding their academic pursuits,” Mehta remarked.

(Join our [ppp1] for all the latest updates)

Nonetheless, with numerous companies now providing unsecured loans for international higher education, financial constraints are gradually becoming less of a barrier, she further noted.

Despite these hurdles, nearly half of the study abroad applicants from India are female, based on data from Leap Scholar, a study abroad platform. In 2023, women accounted for 50% of all applicants to Canada, 45% to the UK, and 35% to the USA. Mehta from Leap Scholar stated, “There is a noticeable increase in women exploring educational and career opportunities abroad.” Additionally, European countries like Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland are gaining popularity among women aspiring for careers in fields such as fashion, art restoration, and culinary arts. This trend is not confined to major cities, with students from smaller towns showing a growing interest, driven by the availability of cost-effective international degree programs. This development empowers women from various regions in India to pursue their academic and professional aspirations on a global scale.

How to choose the ideal study destination?

Safety and post-graduation career prospects stand out as crucial factors for these women. Mehta from Leap Scholar emphasized that career progression, financial autonomy, and immigration processes play pivotal roles in their decision-making. Ankur Nyati from Study Abroad highlighted living costs, employment opportunities, and post-graduation possibilities as key considerations as well.

In a survey by, safety emerged as the primary consideration for female students when selecting a study destination, followed closely by post-graduation earnings prospects.

Moreover, factors such as cost of living, part-time job availability, post-graduation employment opportunities, and visa extension options are among the aspects that women carefully evaluate before relocating abroad, according to Nyati from Study Abroad.

Gender Disparity in Wages

While gender pay gaps persist, the IT sector in the US boasts the smallest wage gap, as per Akshay Chaturvedi from Nonetheless, challenges remain, with women in the US earning 16% less than their male counterparts and immigrant women in Canada earning 20.9% less.

“The US also offers one of the highest salaries in the IT domain, and although a marginal gender pay gap exists, it is the narrowest within this sector, signaling room for improvement,” Chaturvedi remarked.

Presently, women are increasingly gaining work experience before applying for overseas opportunities, thereby enhancing their applications and career prospects. Mehta noted, “Women are prioritizing relevant work experience spanning 1-5 years before pursuing a foreign degree to secure admission into their preferred universities and bolster their career trajectories.”

This year has witnessed a surge in demand for AI/ML programs, particularly in the US, attracting a growing cohort of female students, as highlighted by Chaturvedi from Leverage.