International Students in IndiaA recent survey shows that the number of international students in India has decreased by nearly 1,000 students since the 2013-2014 school year.

The Association of Indian Universities conducted the survey. This survey showed that there were 30,423 international students in India according to the 208 Indian universities that responded to the survey. This is in spite of the fact that many Indian universities have policies that will allow international students to make up at most 15 percent of the student population.

According to The Pie News, most international students in India come from other Asian countries. Nepal sends the most students to India, followed by people of Indian descent born in different countries.

A significant portion of the students also arrive from African countries. The Pie News states that 20 percent of India’s international students come from Africa, most of whom are Nigerian. There is, however, little representation from European foreign students.

The study also illustrated some of the improvements India has made with regards to the international students that they admit. According to The Pie News, India accepted students from 208 different countries in the 2014-2015 school, a rise from 60 countries in 1984.

This survey is not a complete view of all of the potential international students in India. More than half of the Indian universities did not participate in the survey. The creators of the survey surmise then that those universities have little to no international students, and therefore did not want to participate.

One of the reasons for the low attendance of international students in India stems from minimal efforts from Indian universities to recruit foreign students. Sixty-two percent of Indian universities surveyed actually market to foreign students. Only 26 percent hire consultants to build international campaigns to entice foreign prospective students.

The executive vice president of global engagement and research at StudyPortals, Rahul Choudaha, acknowledges the issues that the low turnout of international students in India causes for the country as a whole. He explains how other Asian destinations gain more global talent due to catering to international audiences.

The secretary-general of the Association of Indian Universities Furqan Qamar also expresses how the lack of Indian international students affects Indians’ place in the global society. He states in Times Higher Education that “as a result, [the universities] are losing out on the advantage of not only generating some revenue but also of making their campuses diverse and thus [of] creating a global ambiance.”

The Indian government hopes to change that. In ten years India hopes to have one million international students studying in its universities.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Flickr