Gen Next has no time or inclination to cry over a rejected visa to the US or worry themselves silly in order to score the cut off marks to get into a good school in London. Tough visa processing and sky-high demands from universities in the US and UK have led students to seek other options this academic year. Statistics provided by educational consultants show a sharp decline in the number of young students with american dreams. Instead, they are opting for places like Ireland, Singapore, Cyprus, Newzealand, Germany, Sweden, Malaysia, Canada and Switzerland.
With equally bright career opportunities and excellent courses at a more economical fee structure, European and South East Asian countries are becoming the hottest study destination for Indian Students. S.V.R.Kiran, a student who is all set to go to the Waterford University in Ireland for his higher studies, says, "Ireland offers world class education at low cost. You needn't be a topper in every subject to get a seat in a good college. I will be leaving next month to pursue an M.Sc., in computing."
There are other advantage too. The cost of living is relatively cheaper, work permits are available and jobs are easy to come by. That's not all, most students are also attracted by the fact that it's easier to acquire a permanent residence status in any of these countries. And more often than not, it's the acceptability of a 15-year education that makes these new study destinations a viable option. "It's tough for students from non-engineering backgrounds to go the US as they ask for 16 years of education. On the other hand Universities in Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore and Canada accept students with just 15 years of education for any masters program and this suits us fine. That explains the 30 per cent increase in the number of students wanting to go to these countries," reveals J.S.Anand, branch head of Chopra's Consultants.
Some students, however, still nurture dollar dreams, but they have a clever way of going about it. Says V.Balakrishna, a student who will join Linkoping University in Sweden soon, "It is easier for me to enter the US from Sweden. I am not only save up on the money spent on education in the US, but Ican also work in the US when I am done with college," Cashing in on the drawbacks of former education capitals like the US, these smaller countries are going all out to lure Indian students. Their visa processing is made easier and they also permit students to stay back in their country for two years after the completion of education. "Countries like Canada, Singapore, and Ireland have eased their visa processing and made work permits flexible. It is relatively easier to get permanent residence status in these countries," says Mr.Ganesh Valmiki, CMD of Valmiki consultants.
That's not all, many universities in Germany and Sweden offer free education to International students too. Courses too are trailor-made to make it more comfortable. There are one-year masters programmes as opposed to the two years it takes in US. Under graduation courses which take four years to complete in the US, are done within three years in these countries.