Sharp growth in Outbound Students


Revising a four year trend of declining student’s number from India, it has risen sharply. 85% of Indian students chose to study in five English speaking countries – US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Growth in Indian outbound to these five destinations exceeded enrolment growth from China for the first time ever. Indian enrolment grew by 10% while in China it grew by 8%. Some of the other sources suggest a higher growth rate for Chinese outbound. Chinese Ministry of Education claims a growth for the country at 11.1% last year.

After four consecutive years of falling Indian enrolment, Australia witnessed a 28% increase in 2014. Growth in Indian enrolment is an important driver of the broader recovery in Australia’s international enrolment. Australia was hard hit as total Indian outbound numbers declined.

Recent growth comes largely at the expense of UK but it points as a challenge for other destinations now as Indian demand is swinging back to Australia. Australia is also drawing student demand from US as well. Growth of Indian students in US Graduate program has been uneven over a period of time but it has been sustained in the last two years. It has been found that the sharp decline in Indian enrolment in Australia has translated into corresponding enrolment growth in Canada. During the period, Australia lost 48000 Indian students while 75% students ended up in Canada. Now Canada’s share of Indian market is at risk. One of the very important questions emerging from the report, therefore, is whether or not Australia’s resurgence as a leading destination for Indian students will begin to erode Canada’s Indian student numbers.

Basically Australia relies on agents to acquire International students and most of the growth in Canada came from student sign-ups for colleges which have also been almost entirely by agents. Same agents who shifted focus away from Australia are now helping to direct student demand back to Australia.

With intense market effort and renewed focus on Indian market by Australia, UK continues to see its share of Indian market decline. A closer look indicates that gains from other key source markets, notably China, during this period have been largely offset by significant declines in the number of Indian students choosing to study in Britain. Moreover stringent work and immigration laws have led to disenchantment with the UK market.

Alongwith Australia, New Zealand is also been a beneficiary of UK’s falling market share. New Zealand saw an increase in Indian enrolment by 49%. M. M. Advisory said that there are simply not enough higher education institutions in India and large numbers of quality students who are not sure they will get admission locally.