Top five destinations for students in India for overseas study

London/Mumbai: The Universities in the USA and UK remain the top destinations for international students in India. Germany, Canada and Australia are other leading destinations for students in India. These are revealed by the annual QS World Grad School Tour Applicant Survey report-2016. The report, which examines the motivations and priorities of the world’s prospective postgraduates, focuses this year on the specific concerns and preferred destinations of international applicants from emerging markets.

For nearly 66% surveyed students in India say USA is the top destinations for study while 44% of them prefer UK for the same. Germany (38 %) emerges as the third top choice for the surveyed students and Canada (36%) is fourth leading destination for them. Meanwhile, 30% of students prefer Australia as their favorite study destination. New Zealand appears to be the sixth top choice for the students in India as 17% of applicant students choose it.


The QS report profiles 11 emerging markets and is based on over 15,000 responses, of which over 2,000 came from these markets. All survey respondents were in the process of applying for a postgraduate degree, with a focus on international study.

QS World Grad School Tour Applicant Survey report mentioned that Indian respondents chose an average of 5.0 destinations each, compared to 5.3 in Bangladesh and 5.7 in Pakistan.

Overall for the 11 emerging markets, the US and UK remain the most popular study destinations overall – with the UK leading student preferences in Indonesian. Germany is the most prominent of several alternative destinations referenced by surveyed students. It is the most popular potential study destination among those in both Bangladesh and Pakistan. Australia and Canada remain consistently popular, with Canada preferred over the UK by students in Nigeria, Ghana, and Bangladesh.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, global international study trend analysts, has released the annual QS World Grad School Tour Applicant Survey report on 17 November 2016.

Laura Bridgestock, editor of the report and of, said: “At a time when universities and nations are prioritising strategies to retain or improve their share of international students, we wanted to focus on understanding prospective students in the next set of major source countries. Focusing on these emerging markets could be particularly important for both the US and the UK – particularly in the wake of this year’s political events – if they are to maintain their places as the world’s leading study destinations.”

Decoding the factors that motivate students from emerging markets to seek further study, the report highlighted that the desire to progress an existing career remains the most-cited motivation for seeking a master’s degree, as the top motivation for students in seven of the eleven profiled markets. Applicants from Bangladesh and Pakistan are notable exceptions, with a stronger focus on progressing to a higher-level qualification such as a PhD.

Further, on parameters on which candidates select international institution, the report finds that subject-specific reputation, followed by overall institutional reputation, is the most important priority for prospective postgraduates for selecting an institution. It is the leading priority in five of the eleven markets profiled in the report.

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