The number of US VISA applications has fallen 14% between October 2008 and January 2009. While this is just a representative number - it does point out that Indian students are not so keen on studying abroad this year. A number of factors, including lesser financial aid and poor job outlook after graduation are contributing to this scenario.
It is interesting to note that a number of other countries are looking at this year as an opportunity for attracting Indian students.
Canada is positive on making gains in the number of Indian students. The Canadian minister for immigration has revealed plans for actively promoting colleges in India. They plan to highlight getting permanent residence and employment opportunities, in their bid to attract students.
Britain on the other hand, has launched a new VISA category - "Tier 4", for international students. This idea is expected to attract a large number of international students - especially Indians. The numerous 1 year courses are another attractive offering for students. These are perceived as "value for money" and also give students the opportunity to enter the job market more quickly. A number of international students scholarships are also in place for making the UK an attractive destination for Indian students.
New Zealand is expecting a 30% increase in the number of Indian students. After graduation, students will now be put in the Skilled Immigrant category - affording them significant advantages.
France is also sporting a positive outlook. A number of student friendly shifts and offers are already in place. Perhaps, most noteworthy is the fact that Indian students can now stay in France and engage in job hunting for 6 months after completing their course.
Australia has initiated a $3.5. million marketing campaign for reaching out to Indian students. Australia isn't hit by the recession and other factors such as unemployment welfare provisions and overall financial health make it a recurring favorite for Indian students.
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