The Indian market has been a significant driver of global student mobility in the past decade and is assured for further growth after the pandemic. The process for applying to the international universities for the 2021 academic session has already started. 


It wouldn’t be surprising to know that Indian students, who make up a large chunk of the international students especially in countries like the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. They are extremely excited to apply to international universities like every other year, despite the emergence of Covid-19 all over the world.

India: World’s second-largest importer of international education

India has been one of the top international student mobility countries over the past decade. Indian is second after China in terms of total outbound student numbers. India has significantly become a driver of overall development in international education.


From around the year 2014, India has actually started to give tough competition to China in terms of year-over-year growth. In the 5 years from 2015 to 2019, India has not only obtained the position of second-largest sending market in the world but also one of the fastest-growing sources of migrating students.

Highlights of special webinar convened by ISEM Canada

The expanding Indian market was in focus at a special webinar held by ISEM Canada, a professional practice group of international enrolment specialists. In the opening presentation, the CEO of market-entry firm Worldwide EduConnect, Vinay Chaudhry, presented some of the important contexts for the large and complex market of international education.


He said “The student recruitment market is still maturing,” he added, “and I think we can expect a lot more from India.” Continued with “We expect a very strong bounce-back after COVID as well, ” he adds.

  • Mr. Chaudhry’s highlights: the population of India skews young, with around 500 million people under the age of 25. 
  • Mr. Chaudhry also pointed out that the Indian education system is now on the corner of significant change. This is proved with the introduction of a new National Education Policy earlier this year. 

Current recruitment channels of India

In the context of current recruitment channels, Mr. Chaudhry added that 

  • Universities in the USA tend to depend heavily on direct contact with high schools in India. So they are more invested in associating with school counselors. 
  • “Australia on the other hand depends mainly on agents. Probably more than 90% of its enrolments from India are through Agents.
  • Canada depends on both methods. 

Reflecting further on those top destinations shows 2019 enrolments from India for the top six destinations worldwide. Those top destinations have a share of more than 750,000 Indian students abroad that year.


Mr. Vinay Chaudhry also presented his views on the competitive education field which is expanding quickly.  In his opinion, there are a few new countries that are emerging. For example

  • Malaysia has come out very strongly in the last few years. 
  • Ireland is also growing speedily. 

This show the importance of international education among international students

Indian student’s mindset

Mr. Chaudhry reflecting his opinion for “What does not matter in a country like India, is 

  • What kind of infrastructure the campus has or how many clubs there are on campus. 
  • They mainly consider the element of the ROI(return on investment) in their abroad education. 
  • How many students get employment from the university after graduation and what is their starting salary? 

Mr. Vinay also specified that services and support for students, including admissions processing and arrival services, are also an important factor for the competitive advantage for institutions. Recruiters must be ready with these answers for encouraging students.

The outlook for 2021

The broad findings in the research state that many students from India are preparing to begin their studies abroad despite continuing uncertainty around online versus face-to-face study, quarantine requirements, etc.


Currently, India is going through the second wave of COVID-19. However, the situation has started gaining back its original pre covid position, schools are operating and exams have been completed on schedule. Major entrance exams are expected to get scheduled in September.


Concluding from the query and survey data, Ms. Das highlighted a growing acceptance among Indian students for blended delivery study methods which is a mixture of online and face-to-face study. 

Suggestions for recruiting Institutions 

Ms. Das highly recommends that recruiting institutions should step up their communications strategies with a multi-channel presence that can reach students, parents, and other stakeholders frequently and reliably. She also added that transparency and support in the arrival process and quarantine requirements are also important.


Her recommendations, other expert advice, and survey results point towards the reality that students need more support and satisfaction communication during COVID. Those recruiters who will perform these plans successfully can clearly get benefited in the increasingly competitive education market.


India has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The education market is unpredictable, with the capacity for very rapid growth but also for abrupt changes in destination preferences. This is especially in terms of modification of policies such as post-study work or permanent residency options. Institutions should support and communicate well.


Read also

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About the Author:

Twinkle is an active listener and observer. She has a boundless curiosity to improvise her all-round knowledge. She is always open about her thoughts and her personality is filled with thirst for acquiring knowledge about different fields. Her favourite pastime is to pen down her thoughts and knowledge. Her strength is the simplicity of language yet being artistic.

Categories: Study Abroad

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