India is witnessing an upsurge in EdTech firms. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the EdTech industry was valued at USD 750 million in the year 2020 and is expected to reach around USD 4 billion by 2025. at a CAGR of 39.77%.
The growth of these EdTech firms is observed majorly in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India. Many of the students from these cities want to study abroad. To pursue higher education at the universities that have global rankings, they need the guidance and assistance of experts. Here comes the role of EdTech firms that mentor students to fulfil their aspirations.
The data from the Ministry of External Affairs suggests that the total number of students studying abroad increased to 4,44,553 in 2021 from only 2,59,655 in 2020. As per the data, La Trobe College (Australia), Murdoch University (UAE), Brunel University Pathway College London (UK), and Cleveland State University (USA) are some of the most preferred universities for Indian students.
According to the 2021 Open Doors Report, the US remained the top study destination for aspirants from India.
Nearly 12% of students from Punjab and Andhra Pradesh opted to study abroad. In addition, aspirants from the tier-2 and tier-3 cities such as Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Vijayawada, Warangal, and Tirupati were among the top cities from where students opted to study abroad.
What Drives Aspirants to Study Abroad?
Getting a degree from a top university abroad assures students of a better living standard when compared with a home country degree. In addition, most students also prefer universities abroad as they increase their chances of securing a better job and also fetch them a good salary.
While Indian universities in general lack research facilities, most top international universities provide students with ample opportunities to carry out R&D work. It is the primary reason why those who wish to pursue a career in STEM choose to study at universities abroad. The USA, UK, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland are some of the leading countries in providing the best STEM education.
Students also gain various advantages in terms of soft skills over those studying in their home country. This includes improved communication skills, better problem-solving skills, the ability to manage deadlines, and a good network of people from diverse cultural backgrounds across the globe.
Overseas education increases the chances of students achieving better economic opportunities as they often get a good CTC at reputed MNCs. According to a study conducted by IES abroad, 90% of students who pursued higher education abroad find their first job within six months of graduation.
Generally, aspirants from tier-2 and tier-3 cities lack the confidence that later becomes a barrier to pursuing lucrative career opportunities compared to their peers with international degrees. Studying abroad helps them overcome these challenges. Possessing higher educational acumen, they may get the boost needed to emerge as great leaders.
EdTech Firms-The Enablers
Studying abroad is the dream of many aspirants from the tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India. However, they face various challenges during this entire process, from selecting the right university to applying for a study visa. They struggle to find reliable information about the university where they wish to study. Students are also perplexed about the courses, admission process, eligibility criteria, program duration, queries related to financial assistance, necessary documents, and other details.
To overcome these hurdles, EdTech firms have emerged as one-stop solutions. They have democratised the global admission market to help students with appropriate guidance.
EdTech firms assist aspirants from tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India to make the right decision in terms of opting for the right subject. They examine students’ ability to adapt to the situation while enabling them to solve problems.
EdTech firms provide aspirants with free counselling sessions about their career choices and help them find universities with relevant programs. Most of them also offer students assistance with VISA applications and the immigration process.
In addition, edtech firms like The WorldGrad offer students the opportunity to complete the first semester or full year remotely and finish the rest of the studies on campus. Such companies collaborate with top universities globally to help students complete a portion of their courses remotely. Many students from tier 2 and tier 3 cities have started to prefer the same as it helps them financially by saving up to 10–12 lakhs on logistics and accommodation. In addition, recent unprecedented situations like the pandemic and conflict in Ukraine have led more students to pursue their courses remotely.
A Word of Caution
Students are frequently taken advantage of by scammers who, in the pretence of helping them steal a sizable sum of money, swindle them. Agents falsely provide documents to universities or embassies, which causes the candidates to be placed on a blacklist. They further reassure the students that their VISAs are guaranteed by mentioning their connection to the local embassy. If you are one of the aspirants, make sure to safeguard yourself from such bad actors.
Today, many EdTech companies are developing techniques to shield candidates from such con artists in order to avoid misleading scenarios. In addition, players in the market are also utilising new-age technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science to recommend appropriate career options based on their personalities and preferences.
The emergence of EdTech companies has made the admissions process to the top institutions across the world convenient. They serve as a link between aspirants and the degree of their dreams. For students outside of big urban zones, studying abroad is no longer a matter of chance. With the help of thriving EdTech companies, students from tier-2 and tier-3 cities can now realise their aspirations of studying overseas.
(The author is Mr. Abhinav Mital is the Founder of The WorldGrad and the views expressed in this article are his own)