To attract international students to its abundance of universities, India’s offering an enticing mix of cheap tuition fees, a fast-track visa system and the promise of a top quality education
While India has always been proud of its standing as a nation committed to the pursuit of knowledge, in recent times it has fallen behind other leading countries in attracting the world’s top scholars.
However, the government has launched an ambitious programme to boost the country’s overseas student population from around 45,000 to 200,000 by 2023.
This is made more attainable by the fact that the higher education infrastructure in the country is already vast. So those considering studying here will find they have plenty of options. Unlike most of its Asian competitors, all Masters courses and many Bachelors programmes are taught in English – one of India’s two official languages.
India’s warm and welcoming population will make settling in easy. If you’re adventurous, you could trek the Himalayan Mountains or Rajasthan desert. You could also visit one of the nation’s many cosmopolitan cities, such as Mumbai, New Delhi or Bengaluru, sampling the unique local cuisine or watching a Bollywood movie.
With around 900 universities, India is well-equipped to handle a rise in the number of international students arriving at its shores. The five main types of higher education institution are:
- Central universities – There are currently 49 institutions controlled by central government.
- State universities – Most of India’s universities (399) are governed by one of the country’s regions.
- Deemed-to-be universities – Central government has declared 37 high-performing institutions as having a status equal to universities.
- Institutes of National Importance (INI) – Funded by central government, there are 91 INIs. These include the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM).
- Private universities – There are currently 330 privately established and funded institutions.
Despite India possessing one of the world’s largest higher education systems, only nine universities – all except for one being an INI – appear in the top 500 of the QS World University Rankings 2019 (with 24 featuring overall):
- Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (162nd)
- Indian Institute of Science (170th)
- Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (172nd)
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras (264th)
- Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (283rd)
- Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (295th)
- Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (381st)
- Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (472nd)
- University of Delhi (487th).
As the pattern with these institutions suggests, India is renowned for its excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. However, the country’s also rapidly growing a reputation for providing quality programmes in business management, medicine and the arts.
Unfortunately, bogus institutions are not uncommon in India. To avoid being duped, check the university you’re considering is recognised. For more information, see the University Grants Commission – Fake Universities.
The Indian academic year is split into two semesters (autumn and spring) and typically runs from July to April/May.
Degree courses in India
In terms of structure and assessment, Bachelors programmes in India are similar to their UK counterparts. For example, they usually last for three years, with some programmes – notably those in STEM and law – lasting for four or five. Popular courses include:
- Bachelor of Architecture
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Engineering
- Bachelor of Journalism
- Bachelor of Laws
- Bachelor of Medicine
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Technology.
Search Indian Bachelors degrees at Study In India – List of Institutes/Universities.
Taught Masters degrees usually last for one or two years, with research programmes lasting three. Courses in IT, medicine and business are commonplace, with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) particularly popular.
Masters degrees in India are broadly similar in structure to those in the UK, with typical assessment methods including essays, exams and a dissertation.
Like in the UK, PhDs usually take three years to complete. However, in India you may be assessed through essays and exams – as well as by thesis.
Entry requirements include a relevant Masters, though you may also be accepted with a first-class undergraduate degree and extensive, relevant professional experience.
Tuition fees in India are much cheaper than in the UK and many other popular study abroad destinations. Indian universities set their own fees, but they typically fall between £2,500 and £6,000 per year for international students.
As the low cost of living is appealing to foreign students, you can comfortably survive on an annual budget of £3,500. It’s important to be aware that international students cannot work while studying.
Funding to study in India
With the Indian government’s push to bring in more international students, there are plenty of scholarships available.
Firstly, UK nationals should investigate the scholarships offered by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
You may also be eligible for scholarships issued by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), with the General Scholarship Scheme (GSS) its most popular award.
Read more about the GSS and other available scholarships at Study In India – Fee Waivers and Concessions.
The MHRD covers student funding on its informative Scholarships and Education Loan page, which provides details on both national and external scholarships.
All foreign nationals entering India require a visa. The Student Visa (S) can be issued for either the length of your studies or a maximum period of five years, and is obtained from the Indian Embassy or High Commission in your home country.
To secure a visa, you must present an unconditional offer of a place on a full-time course from a recognised Indian university – for a list of approved institutions, see the All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
All supporting documentation, including proof of a passport with at least six months validity, should be submitted alongside your application form, which can be found at Indian Visa Online. A student visa valid for up to five years will cost £156 to UK passport holders.
Online applications are usually made directly to the university, well in advance of the course start date.
However, students looking to embark on an undergraduate degree in engineering and architecture can apply to central universities – including INIs – using the centralised Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) admissions service. If you’re interested in doing a postgraduate course and are planning on studying one of these two subjects or management, you’re also encouraged to apply through the DASA scheme portal.
The application cost is approximately £3,250 (paid in USD), which consists of around £3,000 for the first semester’s tuition fees, plus the university’s non-refundable registration fee. For further semesters the fee is £1,500/£3,000 – with the exact amount depending on the course/institution.
To find out the application procedure for a particular Indian university, search by institution/course at Study In India.
The official languages of India are Hindi and English, but many others are spoken throughout the country. The native tongue is usually dependent on the region – see Maps of India.
However, all university courses are taught in English – if this isn’t your native language, you may be required to sit a proficiency test. Find out more at IELTS.
Top reasons to study in India
Top reasons to study in India – India, being the land of diverse cultures, a birthplace of some of the world’s greatest religions and history offers a wide range of options for international students. The thought of studying in at one of the most exciting countries in the world can seem intimidating at first but often opens up new perspective and experience for it will offer students a new perspective and a whole new experience. While living in India can be a challenging affair for foreign students, it is often a rewarding and an affordable experience. The country is well known for its vibrant traditions, packed cities and enormously growing economy.
The real question is ‘why not study in India’, while the country has so much to offer. No wonder India enjoys the 24th rank in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings, thanks to the top universities in India including IIT’s, IISC’s and AIIMS among others. The country boasts one of the largest education systems with top ranking universities to its rescue, which apparently is one of the top reasons to study in India.
Why study in India?
1. Top Ranking Universities
The country has much more to offer students apart from dazzling cultures to natural beauty to diverse history. India being the second largest populous country in the world has undergone expeditious expansion in diverse fields, education being one of them. International students have thousands of universities and colleges to choose from. In fact, the ranking list has a majority of the Indian Institute of Technology and All India Institute of Medical Sciences for students to take admission in. Studying abroad in a top ranking university is definitely one of the top reasons to study in India.
2. Cost of living
Studying abroad in a completely different country becomes a major concern for international students and the cost of living in a foreign country can seem daunting to many at first. In a country like India, cost of living is the last thing to worry about. The cost of education in India is way lower compared to giant education hubs such as the US, UK and Australia.
According to HSBC report, an average annual tuition fee in India is mere $580, while an average fee in Australia is over $24,000, $24,500 in the U.S and $20,000 in the UK. So, annual tuition fee in India is not a major obstacle for international students as compared to the western countries. Thus, one of the top reasons to study in India and a preferable choice for foreign students.
3. Student friendly cities:
Finding a perfect student friendly city in a foreign country is another one of the top reasons to study in India. If students decide to take the leap and study abroad in India, they are likely to study in one of the flourished cities in the country. India is home to over 400 cities spread across the nation, a proof of establishment of the enormous country. Each city has its unique traditions, cultures and values to take back home. Yet, there are few cities that shine among the rest as lucrative study abroad destinations.
Mumbai (previously Bombay) leads the top student cities list, closely followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad to name a few. While Mumbai boasts of universities/institutes like IIT Bombay, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Delhi shows off a number of top ranking universities academic centres including, IIT Delhi, Delhi University, Jawahar Llal Nehru University and AIIMS among others.
Given the cost of education in India, universities in India also offer its international students with financial assistance in form of scholarships. The government of India offers a wide range of scholarships to international students who want to pursue higher studies in the country.
General Cultural Scholarship Scheme is one such scholarship which is annually awarded to foreign students hailing from certain African, Asian, and Latin American countries to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate and research oriented programme. Some other popular scholarships for international students: Commonwealth Fellowship Plan, Reciprocal Scholarships Scheme, Cultural Exchange Programme and Indian Council for for Cultural Relations among others.
5. Popular programmes
There could be several reasons for foreign students to choose India as their next study abroad destination. Apart from top universities and vibrant culture, international students can experience the vast Indian education system spread across an array of courses. The country boasts of several top world ranking universities however, it is the vast choice of programmes offered in the country that makes it one of the top reasons to study in India for international students.
The top courses to study in India are spread across various fields including Engineering, Management, Medicine and Arts to name a few. In India, there are several programmes like Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), MBBS and Bachelor of Pharmacy that attract a majority of international crowd. For instance, B.Tech attracts more than 2800 international students, while B.Com has a strength of over 2500 students.
6. Melting pot of diverse cultures
Visiting and living in a place is completely different, especially when the country is India. In fact, India has 22 official languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi and Gujrati among others. International students are likely to come across students who hail from other cities in India and have diverse mother tongues. The diversity in India may overwhelm international students, as foreign students are never going to be alone. There will always be someone around, be it classmates, hostel mates or just a random stranger. One of the top reasons to study in India- students are never going to be lonely, meaning lesser home sickness.
7. Campus life
Studying in India, for any foreign student can be an intimidating prospect, because it isn’t just a land of numerous languages, but also of people from different backgrounds and traditions. International students initially go through cultural shock, thankfully with time they are able to wade through anything that comes across. The best part of campus life in India is the majority of universities in the country are residential in nature, which means foreign students get to reside on a secure and close knit environment. Campus life in India is one of the top reasons to study in India, where international students receive ample opportunities to interact and socialize in extracurricular activities.
8. Work Opportunities
While the country offers an array of programmes spread across various fields, many international students come seeking work opportunities in India– both during and after programme. The Indian government does not allow foreign students to work during their study period. However, international students are allowed to take up training and internships. Even though, India bounds international students from exploring work opportunities during their studies, it generally does not exempt them from working in the country post programme. However, students cannot extent their stay in India and work on their student visa. The Indian student visa does not carry any work related right. Nevertheless, international students can work in the country under the employment visa scheme.
To be eligible to work after study in India is solely dependent on immigration office and a job offer from a registered company. Employment Visa allows international students to work in India for a particular period after which the visa can be extended.
HOW TO APPLY
APPLY FOR THE FOLLOWING SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY ABROAD
1. SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY IN CYPRUS 2020-2021
2. SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY IN DENMARK 2020-2021
3. SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY IN FINLAND 2020-2021
4. LATEST SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDY ABROAD 2020-2021