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Why US is top choice for Indian students aspiring to study abroad despite affordability, safety concerns


Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index (SGMI) report revealed that the United States emerged as the top choice among Indian students aspiring to study abroad.

The SGMI report published on April 22 stated that 45 per cent of students surveyed cited the quality of education as one of the prime factors while considering higher education destinations abroad. Among the surveyed Indian students, 69 per cent of them sought higher education in the US while 54 per cent of them opted for the United Kingdom. The third spot was occupied by Canada with 43 per cent opting for it as a location to pursue higher education while 27 per cent of respondents voted for Australia. 

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While delivering interesting insights into the student migration trend, the report revealed that respondents expressed concerns over affordability, safety and security while voting for the most favoured destination to pursue higher education.

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Key findings from SGMI report:

  • The motivating factors to study in the US were the quality of education cited by 45 per cent of students and the reputation of universities cited by 42 per cent of respondents.
  • The report further suggested that 71 per cent of Indian students consider their parents or guardians as the primary influencers who significantly contribute to making the final decision about pursuing education abroad. A similar trend was observed in students from other countries, including Nigeria (72 per cent), Pakistan (71 per cent) and Vietnam (62 per cent).

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  • Considering the affordable fees parameter, 28 per cent of Indian students selected the UK for higher education, which was followed by Australia (20 per cent), Canada (18 per cent), and the US (9 per cent).
  • Scholarships also played an integral role in determining the country for higher studies, more than 34 per cent of students surveyed selected Australia which was followed by Canada (32 per cent), the UK (27 per cent) and the US (23 per cent).

Managing Director at Oxford International Education Services Mohit Gambir remarked, “The survey has ranked the US as the most preferred study destination followed by the UK as the second most preferred one.” 

Gambir noted that despite apprehensions surrounding affordability and safety, the allure of quality education and esteemed universities persists as primary drivers to opt for the US. 

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Published: 23 Apr 2024, 03:58 PM IST