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Gone are the days when one has to go through a limited number of options in India -- today there are engineering colleges all over the country, more medical colleges and numerous vocational schools.
Still the influx of Indian students to foreign universities and colleges is on the rise.
So what propels students to study overseas? Is it because of too much of competition in India? Or is it because of better quality of education? Or is it a global exposure?
It would be difficult to point out a specific reason for why the girl next door is packing her bags and leaving for the UK tomorrow.
It might be the frustrating education system in India; it might be freedom from home; she might even be desire to add value to her CV.
If the issue has you conflicted and confused, you're not alone. So let's explore it in a little more depth.
Foreign universities provide internationally recognised qualifications of the highest standards.
As for the British education system, they combine the elements of tradition and modernity. Some British universities are among the oldest in the world and some are most recent.
As for the American universities -- community colleges are an increasingly popular choice for international students who seek higher education in the United States. These institutions provide an affordable education and an opportunity to transfer several high quality four-year programmes throughout the United States.
Another alternative destination is Australia, where more and more students are turning to build a future. The speciality of Australia is its unique kind of education -- a learning style that encourages innovative, creative and independent thinking. This style encourages you to develop distinct skills, such as flexibility and lateral thinking, which will assist you both academically and professionally.
A recent trend shows students flying to destinations like Singapore and New Zealand [Images]. Switzerland [Images] and Germany [Images] are other new hot spots. Switzerland has earned a reputation for Hospitality teaching, which leaves the door open for lucrative career options. It would be quite unfair not to mention about China -- a lot of aspiring doctors have chosen this neighbouring country to fulfil their aspirations.
Let us look at a few reasons that drive students to seek foreign Universities:
The quality and standard of foreign education are guaranteed through the work of several official bodies. The quality of a university's teaching and its general facilities are assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Research standards are examined by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) which publishes its findings every five years.
Value for money
The quality of a foreign degree is one of the major reasons why so many people go overseas to study. A Master's programme in the UK can be completed in one year thus saving a vital year in terms of career enhancement. A Master's from Scotland offers a two-year work permit after completion of the course. Courses from US or Australia lead to international job offers.
English: the language of business
Another major advantage of studying overseas is the opportunity to improve one's written and spoken English language skills -- considered the most important commodity in the international business world.
Overseas education has instigated a public debate in the past ten to fifteen years. Be it among academicians, students, academic experts or the media, the issue has been thrust in the limelight.
Should students stay or should they go? This article has portrayed the opportunities of a Western education, but there are strong advocates on both sides of the debate.
Ultimately, you must remember that be it in India or abroad: education is not received, it's achieved.
Tomorrow: Part II and Chat with Raj Ganguly at 3 pm.
Raj Ganguly is CEO of Raj Ganguly and Associates (Management Consultants). He is an overseas education expert
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