Last Updated: February 06, 2023, 19:27 IST
The Mos education said while the Bureau of Immigration under the MHA maintains departure and arrival data of Indians, there is no index for capturing the category of students going abroad for higher education. (Representative image)
At least 7.5 lakh students went to foreign institutions for higher studies in 2022 compared to 4.4 lakh in 2021, Lok Sabha was told. About the proposal to set up an international university, MoS education Subhas Sarkar said UGC has drafted regulations to facilitate establishment of campuses in India
The number of students going abroad for higher studies almost doubled in 2022, as compared to the previous year. At least 7.5 lakh students went to foreign institutions to pursue higher studies last year compared to 4.4 lakh in 2021, the education ministry told the Lok Sabha on Monday.
In a written response to a question, Minister of State (MoS) for education Subhas Sarkar told the LS that the purpose of Indians going abroad for higher education is captured manually, based on either their verbal disclosure or the type of visa of the destination country produced by them at the time of immigration clearance.
“The number of Indians, who disclosed their purpose of visit as study/education while going abroad in 2022, was 7.5 lakh. This figure was 4.4 lakh in 2021, 2.59 lakh in 2020, 5.86 lakh in 2019, 5.17 lakh in 2018 and 4.54 lakh in 2017,” the minister’s response stated.
He also said while the Bureau of Immigration under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) maintains departure and arrival data of Indians, “there is no index for capturing the category of Indians going abroad for higher education purpose unless for their type of visa or verbal declaration”.
Further, the minister said the information on amount being spent by the Indian students on their visits abroad is not maintained by this department.
With regard to the other part of the question about a proposal to set up an international university in the country, the minister said the University Grants Commission (UGC) has drafted enabling regulations to facilitate establishment of campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India.
The draft UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions In India) Regulations, 2023 was placed in public domain on January 5 for seeking feedback. The last date for receiving comments on the draft regulations is February 20.
While one reason for higher number of students going abroad in 2022 could be that 2021 and 2020 were pandemic years with restrictions on foreign travel, Prof M Jagadesh Kumar, UGC chairperson, said the figure should not be seen only in the Indian context, as this was a global trend.
“The numbers are only going to grow. There were 200 million students in 2014 in higher education institutions globally and this number will double by 2030 of which one-third is going to be Indian students. Meaning, more than 100 million students will be in higher educational institutions in India. Currently, it is 41 million. Even if a small percentage of students go out abroad, the number will be large mainly because the number of students in the higher education system in India is increasing,” said Prof Kumar.
When asked whether under the new regulations any foreign university has so far shown interest to open campuses in India, Kumar said, “We are getting good feedback from many universities including those in US and Europe. The picture is positive.”
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