Representational image of college students in India
Representational image of college students in India | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Over 50 per cent non-STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students in India who planned to study abroad have dropped their plans due to the restrictions in various countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) report has said.

Titled Indian Students Mobility Report 2020, the report released this week said 47.38 per cent of students in STEM fields changed their higher studies plans abroad. The figure for non-STEM students is at 51.59 per cent.

Overall, the pandemic has affected the decision of 48.46 per cent students who aspired to study abroad, added the report. ThePrint has accessed a copy of it.

QS is an education agency that releases global university rankings annually.

Also read: Schools could resume with 30% students ‘at a time’ after lockdown, HRD minister hints

Why non-STEM students are opting out

According to the report, non-STEM students have changed their plans after considering the lower return of investment and less chances of employability.

“The significantly lower return of investment in an already expensive international higher education domain coupled with further reduced chances of employability in the post Covid-19 world have a key role to play in this shift,” said the report.

“While there is likely to be a demand for STEM based professionals, it might not be the same for non-STEM courses which resonates with the higher percentage of students in the latter category to reconsider their higher education plans,” it added.

The QS report findings in the context of the assumptions that in a post-Covid world, there will be greater demand for science, engineering and technology graduates, who could preferably work for pharmaceutical companies, and in the field of innovation and technology.

According to the report, after ‘safety’, the top reason for students to choose the option to study abroad is ‘employment’.

“Last few years were reportedly witnessing a dip in the numbers which was supposedly related to the factors like changes in political order, anti-immigration policies, threats of terrorism and changing world economic landscape. The sudden upheaval in the student mobility due to COVID-19 pandemic has been far more impactful than any of these factors that influenced students’ aspirations to migrate,” it said.

It added that apart from an exponential change in the international student mobility, there is likely to be some impact on inter-state mobility as well.

US issues

The QS report also highlighted the destination preferences of students to study abroad. The US continued to be the top choice.

However, the report pointed out that with the “recent proclamation by USA President to suspend entry of immigrants who present risk to the US labour market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, students aspiring for higher education in USA might have to re-consider their options”.

Also read: Why DU, BHU, AMU or JNU students don’t want to go home despite trains and buses resuming


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3 Comments Share Your Views


  1. If IIT’s and IIM’s are so great let them work in India after graduating instead of begging for a job in West. There has been no great invention that has come out of IIT or IIM. All books are written by Western Professors. I have not yet read a concept invented by professor in management in India that is being read in Western business schools.

    People in India only go to IIT basically to get better marriage prospects and a secured middle class job. Many people if given a choice won’t study engineering in India if other sectors were flourishing and there were any scope in other fields.

    There is almost no research and development in India. R&D stands at 0.7% of GDP for last 20 years continuously.

    India is a failure in innovation and creating jobs. Stealing other people’s job in other countries should stop. Hindus should be banned from immigrating to Christian countries. All IT jobs in India are outsourced call center jobs or jumping to H1B visa or employment visa in UK/Europe. Nothing new is being originally invented in india.

    • are you studying in iit ,if no then why don’t you keep your stupid thought to yourself,and not everyone study in iit because of your so called marriage and middle class thing.
      and here your actual problem is” Hindu moving to Christian country”

  2. You can go to a western country on a student visa, and while there, marry a local girl with that country’s citizenship. You will get the rights to live in that country. There are thousands of Indian origin girls ( in case you are allergic to white girls) in every western country whose fathers have migrated there as students. The reverse is true for girls as well.


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