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Indian students eye Ivy League universities despite rupee depreciation

The depreciation of rupee is unlikely to lead to a drop in the number of Indian students seeking admissions to the most coveted global colleges abroad.

The best schools are betting that an increase in financial aid for foreign students will propel the number of applications, including from India, this year. Stiff competition during admission to Indian universities is expected to further boost the number of students opting to study abroad rather than battle it out at the home turf.

Foreign Universities Upbeat

“The University of Pennsylvania has continued to see growth in applicant pool over the past several years, despite the steady devaluation of the rupee,” says University of Pennsylvania media relations director Ron Ozio.

The college received 465 applications from India last year, the highest in the college’s history and although admissions for this year have not started, a drop is not on the anvil.

“I don’t see much evidence of students “settling”- the spaces in Indian universities continue to be extremely limited and highly competitive, and US colleges and universities continue to be regarded as a valid (and in some cases, preferable) alternative,” added the official in an email response to ET.

“The need and perceived benefit of a foreign education is so high that the rupee depreciation will not matter even if the dollar touches Rs 100,” said Narayanan Ramaswamy, KPMG head for education. Getting into a Harvard or Wharton will remain an Indian dream. Factors like a having to shell out few extra lakhs or even terrible visa regulations do not matter, he added.

Last year, the cut-off marks for admissions to top Indian colleges were 100 per cent for some courses, which forced many to head westwards. In the UK, Cambridge University has spotted a 7 per cent increase in graduate applications from India in the last five years.

“Undergraduate applications have increased every year for the last decade. Exchange rates are only one variable influencing patterns of application,” according to Sheila Kiggins, communications officer – education and access, Office of External Affairs and Communications, University of Cambridge. 

Money Matters

The increase in demand of education loans for foreign varsities grows at 18-20 per cent every year and this year too it is expected to remain the same, says SP Singh, GM, Punjab National Bank. “The rupee depreciation will not have any impact on those who will go abroad for the top colleges.

If there is any change, it will be for those who want to go to the second and third-rung institutes abroad because of the stricter visa regulations. Costs become insignificant to the potential of return on foreign education can provide,” he added.  (The Economics Times)

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