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02 April

USA a Preferred Destination for Higher Education Among Indian Students followed by UK Reveals Oxford International’s SGMI Report

  • The study revealed that 69% of the surveyed Indian students voted for USA as the preferred country to pursue higher education over other countries like UK (54%), Canada (43%) and Australia (27%)
  • Quality of education and reputed universities stand out as top reasons for Indian students to choose a country for higher education
  • The study also revealed that Parents/Guardians are the biggest influencers in shaping the decision to pursue education abroad among Indian students


Mumbai, 22nd April 2024: As India continues to witness a spike in students’ interest to pursue higher education abroad, the second edition of Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index (SGMI) report has revealed interesting insights into the student migration trend. The report, that was published today, revealed that despite concerns over affordability, safety, and security, the United States of America (USA) remains the top choice among 69% of surveyed Indian students seeking higher education abroad over other countries like UK (54%), Canada (43%) and Australia (27%).

Delving deeper, the study also stated that 45% of students cited the quality of education and 42% highlighted the reputation of universities as significant motivating factors for those aspiring to pursue higher education in the USA. In contrast, for the UK, 59% of students emphasized the quality of education, while 61% pointed to the reputation of universities.

Another significant observation that was revealed as an outcome of the SGMI survey is that nearly 71% of the Indian students stated that their parents or guardians were the primary influencers in shaping the decision of pursuing education abroad. This trend was also observed in students from other countries like Nigeria (72%), Pakistan (71%) and Vietnam (62%). Trailing this, 44% of Indian students stated that their closest friends were the second influencers in their decision to move abroad for higher education.

Commenting on the study and its findings, Mohit Gambir, Managing Director, Oxford International Education Services said, “We are happy to launch the second edition of Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index. In an era where global education transcends borders, the findings of Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index illuminate the evolving landscape of higher education aspirations. The survey has ranked USA as the most preferred study destination followed by the UK as the second most preferred one. It is interesting to note that despite apprehensions surrounding affordability and safety, the allure of quality education and esteemed universities persists as primary drivers. Moreover, the pivotal role of parental influence shaping the decisions of Indian students, underscores the profound familial impact on educational pursuits. As aspirations intertwine with opportunity, the narrative of global student mobility continues to evolve, reflecting a mosaic of motivations and influencers shaping the educational journey.”

Conducted collaboratively by Oxford International and THE Knowledge Partnership, renowned specialists in global student research, the SGMI study encompasses a diverse sample size of 500-plus current and prospective students. Participants were carefully chosen from key markets such as India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Nigeria, providing a comprehensive understanding of the motivations and obstacles that shape the global student mobility               landscape.

Other Key Findings:

  • On the affordable course fees parameter, a significant 28% of Indian students selected the UK for higher education, followed by choices like Australia (20%), Canada (18%), and the USA (9%).
  • Over 34% of all responding aspiring students selected Australia (34%) as they could apply for scholarships followed by Canada (32%), UK (27%), USA (23%).
  • In comparison to Pakistan (23%) and Vietnam (22%), 35% of the students from India and Nigeria are inclined to engage with higher education agents as a primary source of information during the decision-making process for selecting courses and universities to consider for their education.
  • Interestingly 71% of Indian students believe parents and guardians influence the decision-making process and this trend is similarly high in other countries with Nigeria at 72%, Pakistan at 71% and Vietnam at 62%.

About Oxford International Education Services: Oxford International Education Services offer universities worldwide the outsourced capabilities to strengthen and scale international student acquisition. It seamlessly integrates with institutional partners and provide an end-to-end recruitment, conversion, and operations-processing function. Backed by a fully-operational and compliant team across UK, India and Hong Kong, it continues to deliver results for their partners and the students it serves. Through increased investment and expansion, it can now create more opportunities for institutions to diversify and scale their strategic capabilities whilst providing enhanced opportunities for students to study in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

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