More than six lakh Indians went abroad for higher education until November this year, compared to 4.44 lakh in 2021, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. The figures confirm the rise in the number of visas issued to Indian students by the US and UK this year.
Responding to a question from Congressman Ranjeet Ranjan, Union MoS (education) Subhas Sarkar said that 6,46,206 Indians went abroad until 30 November 2022 to show their goal as “higher education”.
Sarkar clarified that while the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), Home Ministry, keeps track of the departure and arrival data of Indians, there is no index for capturing the category of Indians who go abroad for higher education.
“The purpose of Indians going abroad for higher education is manually determined based on their verbal disclosure or the type of destination country visa presented by them at the time of immigration control,” he added. Through this method, the government was able to record that by 2021, 4,44,553 Indian students had gone abroad for higher education.
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According to past data, the numbers have risen steadily over the years. In 2017, the number of students going abroad for higher studies was 4,54,009; 5,17,998 in 2018; 5,86,337 in 2019. In 2020, due to the pandemic, it dropped to 2,59,655.
According to the US, it issued 82,000 student visas between June and August this year – the highest number of any country. The most recent UK immigration statistics released in August show that India now accounts for the majority of study visas issued by the country, overtaking China.