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Indian Students in the UK – Changing Trends

The changing trends in the subject choices of Indian students in the UK are described in this article.

Mahesh Ramani
Study in the UK

Did you know that Maritime Studies is gaining in popularity as a subject? Read some more interesting news updates in this article.

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The UK – First Choice for Indian Students Looking to Study Abroad

Traditionally, the UK has always been the number one destination for Indian students looking to study abroad. The radical seventies changed things around with the USA gaining prominence as a popular study abroad destination. The popularity of the USA soared with the idea that the USA offered a less conventional and more independent approach to learning. The UK was always associated with a strict and rule-based system that stuck to pre-defined norms. The post-2000 years, which saw universities actively seeking out international students was a turning point in the international higher education sector. Suddenly, all leading universities across countries began seeking out international students and students from countries like India, China, Sri Lanka and Nepal were wooed with heightened vigour. India and China continue to be the biggest players in sending their students to countries abroad for higher studies.

Key Factors that Attract Indian Students

The key factors that Indian students keep in mind when they compare universities and finalise their choice are listed below:

  • Country and University rankings
  • Recommendations from teachers, family, friends and overseas education consultants
  • Information listed on the website of the university
  • Affordability and scholarships
  • Quality of education on offer
  • Eligibility requirements and ease of visa processing
  • Campus safety
  • Career support services and part-time work opportunities

Subject Choices of Indian Students

Among undergraduate programmes the most popular subjects are - Business Studies, Nursing, Management Studies, Maritime Technology and Mechanical Engineering. The key point to note here is the rising popularity of Maritime Technology as a subject. Many shipping firms are keen to hire Indian students and Indians form a major chunk of the shipping industry.

On examining top postgraduate subject choices, the MBA as a degree programme continues to remain as popular as ever. With a number of interesting new subject concentrations like Digital Marketing and Big Data Analysis finding favour the traditional MBA has given way to a more focused programme structured tailor-made for specific industries. Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Marketing are the other popular postgraduate subjects among Indian students.

In addition to these programmes, there is a heightened interest in areas like Game Design, Film and Television Production, Animation and Energy Management. The market for mobile application developers and animation artists is really huge. With every major movie production studio helming animation movies and releasing mobile games in tandem with them; animation is one field of study that is going to remain strong for a long time to come!  

Popular Universities for Indian Students in the UK

Oxford and Cambridge have always been considered as the epitome of academic excellence for ages! Some of the most popular universities among Indian students in the UK are - University of Southampton, Swansea University, Imperial College London, University of Birmingham, University of Kent and the University of Leeds.

What Next?

The successive governments in the UK over the past decade have employed various tactics to strike a balance in appeasing the local residents and the incoming international students who contribute a major chunk of money to the UK economy.

Countries like Singapore, Australia and Canada are offering stiff competition to both the USA and the UK in terms of the quality of education and the affordability factor. New Zealand with its tag of a ‘clean, safe and friendly country’ is also finding favour with Indian students. UK universities are looking to offer scholarships to attract more students and the year 2016 is interestingly poised for all Indian students who are looking to study abroad.

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