Over 6.46 lakh students went to study abroad, higher than 2021: MoS Education

The Indian government has informed the Lok Sabha that until November of this year, more than 600,000 Indian students pursued higher education abroad, in contrast to the 444,000 students in 2021. This increase aligns with the rise in visas granted by the United States and the United Kingdom to Indian students in the current year.

In response to a question raised by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, Union Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar, disclosed that a total of 646,206 Indian students indicated “higher education” as their purpose for traveling abroad until November 30, 2022. Sarkar clarified that the Bureau of Immigration (BoI) within the Home Ministry tracks the comings and goings of Indians but does not have a specific category for recording those traveling abroad for higher education.

He explained that the purpose of Indians traveling abroad for higher education is manually recorded based on their verbal statements or the type of visa they present during immigration clearance. Using this method, the government determined that in 2021, 444,553 Indian students pursued higher education overseas.

Historical data reveals a consistent increase in the number of Indian students studying abroad over the years. In 2017, 454,009 students went abroad for higher studies, followed by 517,998 in 2018, and 586,337 in 2019. The number dropped to 259,655 in 2020 due to the pandemic.

According to the United States, it issued 82,000 student visas between June and August this year, the highest among all countries. Recent UK immigration statistics, released in August, indicated that India now accounts for the largest share of study visas issued by the UK, surpassing China.