These three European countries aim to attract more Indian students

Mumbai: Three Western European countries, Italy, France and Germany, have been trying for some years to attract more Indian students to their countries. With the three nations having their own educational and cultural branches to cater to the needs of students across the globe, India’s presence as one of the largest international education markets does not go unnoticed.

Italy turns history into opportunity to attract Indian students

Italy has some of the best universities in the world for classical studies and history, while providing quality education in business, management, engineering, and technology.

Uni-Italia, which aims to promote Italian higher education programs and help students and researchers on their academic journey to Italian universities, has a presence in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Iran and Vietnam.

More than 2,000 Indian students entered the country in 2022, with the Uni-Italia center in Mumbai guiding around 500 students in this process alone, according to Federica Maria Giove, director of Uni-Italia India.

“A large number of English-taught courses, scholarships, affordable tuition and overall quality of life make Italy a great option for many international students. Nearly 60% of international students benefit from Italian scholarships and grants,” said Federica, who also highlighted the growing collaboration between Uni-Italia and top Indian universities in the form of meetups, masterclasses, workshops and sessions.

Uni-Italia, India Director Federica Maria Giove interacts with parents and students/ Un-Italia, India

Although some public universities in the UK, US and Canada charge international students higher fees for the degrees they pursue, Italy has maintained fairness in fees for international students and domestic students. .

“Tuition fees for degree programs in government universities are based on the family income of the students, ranging from €0 to €4,000 (INR 3.5 Lakhs approx) per year,” Federica added.

Consultants for Italian universities interact with Indian students/ Uni-Italia, India

French B schools, organisations, delighted to see growth among Indian students

During a visit to the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Delhi, France’s Minister for Digital Transition and Telecommunications, Jean-Noël Barrot announced the country’s goal to host and train 5 lakh d international students by 2025.

“4,00,000 are already there and the number of Indian students would then be, according to President Emmanuel Macron’s vision, 20,000,” Barot told reporters.

Efforts to help build this number are quick as French universities have moved to India and plan to challenge the academic hegemony of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

“Over the past decade, factors such as Brexit and an uncertain US immigration policy have led Indian students to seek alternative destinations. France has always been at the forefront of bringing about positive change in the academic realm,” said Nilesh Gaikwad, Country Manager, India, Edhec Business School.

With French business schools often ranked among the best in the world, the excitement among some of the top institutes in the country is palpable.

“The cost of living in France is lower than in countries like the United States or the United Kingdom. Program fees are also lower. Also, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, French companies, as well as some French business schools offer various need-based grants and scholarships which Indian students can apply for. This includes the Charpak Masters Scholarship, the Raman Charpak (Ph.D.) Scholarship, the Eiffel Scholarship Excellence Program and the Legrand Scholarship Program, among others,” said Patrice Houdayer, Director of Programs, International and student life, SKEMA Business School.

Indian students at SKEMA Business School/ SKEMA Business School in France

Apart from most multi-accredited business schools, France also allows Indian students to benefit from a job seeker visa for up to two years with a residence permit, which is usually valid for one year and extended to another.

Indian students, who would find the experience of studying in France nerve-wracking, can also benefit from the services of Campus France, a public institution responsible for promoting French higher education abroad and welcoming students and foreign researchers in the country.

“We have a network of 10,000 alumni of students who have studied in France in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. The Masters in Management has been one of the most popular programs for most students,” said Aayushi Nagpal, Head, Campus France, French Embassy in India.

Germany’s growth only expected to increase as a study abroad destination

Germany, a more traditional option known to Indian students from all three countries, is probably the biggest competitor to Anglo-Saxon countries in attracting Indian students. With 34,134 Indian students in 2022 out of just 17,570, the growth rate is almost five times the global average, with Indians forming the 2nd largest group of international students enrolled in German universities.

“Many German universities charge no or low tuition fees and welcome and support international students even with paperwork and chores. After graduating, students can upgrade to a higher degree or stay in Germany for 18 months to look for a job. Even while studying, they can do part-time jobs to earn pocket money,” Aditi Gosavi, Senior Advisor – Communication and Public Relations, DAAD India, also known as German Academic Exchange Service.

The DAAD, which helps German university cooperation worldwide, offers several scholarships for master’s degrees in selected fields such as public policy and good governance (PPGG), sustainability and development (EPOS), architecture, fine and performing arts, film, design, etc. its regional office in New Delhi.

DAAD India organizes sessions for students who wish to pursue higher education in Germany/ DAAD India

Rohit Iyer, an engineering student in Hamburg who studies embedded systems in the automation industry, finds the country to be cheaper than other options such as the US and Canada. “Being one of the main centers of automation, Germany offers many opportunities while being light because I pay 5,000 euros in a private university,” added Iyer, who is still looking for accommodation in the country.

Loss of other countries, gain of Europe

With a ever-higher tuition fees in the United States, housing crisis in the UK, and visa arrears in Canada, the rise of European countries to attract Indian students is a development that could have an impact for years to come.

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