57% of Indian middle class aspires to study abroad: Report

September 30, 2022

With over 57% of Indian middle classes (household income of 3-10 lakhs INR) inclined to spend on overseas education, a report of overseas education market gives a critical insight into how foreign education is becoming popular with the largest segment of the Indian population. Additionally, when asked about the factors that make a destination preferable – superior education and lifestyle, global career opportunities, and better salaries emerged as the top three reasons for a majority of them.

South Asia’s largest overseas education platform Leap organized its flagship event – Leap Global Edu Forum 2022 at The Lalit, New Delhi. The summit, designed to bring together the key stakeholders of the Indian education ecosystem in India – investors, thought leaders, startup founders, education influencers, also witnessed the unveiling of the Leap-IpsosStrategy3 Study Abroad Outlook Report. The study, a one-of-its-kind report of the overseas education market, was unveiled at the event by the Chief Guest Dr. Diya Dutt, Deputy Director, United States – India Educational Foundation (USIEF).

Vaibhav Singh, Co-Founder of Leap shared, “Fuelled by the student community’s growing aspirations, the Indian overseas education market is expected to grow multi-fold and will see over 2 million Indian students fly out by 2025 spending over $100 billion on their international education. This is a huge opportunity and the sector will see a meteoric rise in demand for innovative products and services. With the launch of this report, we aim to contribute immensely to the understanding of India’s overseas education industry and what it holds for the future.”

Deepak H, Partner, Ipsos Strategy3, Management Consulting Arm of Ipsos, global market research company said,“Leap and Ipsos have conducted a highly comprehensive study exploring every aspect from inception to admission for aspirants – and talking to so many aspirants across the length and breadth of the country, the study maps the mindscape of aspirants  – sources of information, how the process starts for them, motivations for studying abroad, processes, hurdles and how they overcome it, policies and the govt role as enablers, funding, destinations – the entire gamut, drilling it down to what aspirants expectations and aspirations constitute. And one thing is absolutely clear, everything needs to sit at one place to ease it for the aspirants as we are likely to see a quantum jump in those opting for overseas courses. Interestingly, there is a new emerging cohort, of those choosing the Hybrid Format – online classes at home and offline in the campus – and it also is easy on the pocket.”

The report maps the overseas education landscape in India, opportunities and trends. It unfolds notable findings such as:-

  • Indian Overseas Degrees Provide an Edge over Talent Pool in Home Country as per students: 83% of students believe an overseas degree will enhance their prospects of securing better job opportunities and provide an edge over peer competition and talent pool. 
  • Non-English speaking destinations gain popularity with Indian students: Thanks to global connectivity, 42% Indian students are open to destinations beyond anglophone countries that don’t have English as their first language. This reflects that Indian students are widening their choices and becoming more flexible in their preferences of an overseas education destination. Factors they are considering for making this choice include university ranking, scholarship, cost of living, etc.
  • Study abroad loans become more Accessible and Simplified: Aspirants are showing more trust towards taking education loans. The study shared in terms of funding education, over 62% of Indians prefer education loans, closely followed by scholarships at 53%. The significant increase in preference for education loans is expected to boost the study abroad loan market in the coming years.
  • Post-Covid, “Study from Campus” gains popularity: With study from home becoming the only option available during Covid, students had chosen to pick up online/ hybrid courses in the last two years. However, now 80% of study abroad aspirants have said that they prefer study from campus/face-to-face learning as it provides them an opportunity to strengthen their peer networks and adds face value to their interactions.
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