A recent analysis has been done by RedSeer Strategy Consultants that tracks the number of Indian students abroad. In 2019, there were nearly 800,000 students studying abroad.

That total is projected to more than double again by 2024. It is expected to reach up to 1.8 million. Also, the total spending forecast is between US$75-US$85 billion by that point.

Top choice of Indian students remains countries like Canada, the US, Australia, and the UK.
Those countries will remain among the top choices for Indian students going forward. But, larger volumes will go to other countries as well. These include Germany, Italy, China, Russia, Turkey, and Ireland.

What is driving those growth projections?

There are a number of factors that will continue to drive rapid growth in Indian outbound. This is especially due to the massive demand in the country for quality higher education programmes.
There are two important drivers of that demand. On one hand, students associate higher education institutions in those leading destinations. These come with better educational quality and outcomes. On the other, there are supply-side gaps in the Indian higher education system. There simply aren’t enough spaces available at quality institutions. Therefore, Indian students explore options abroad.
Alongside is the increasing capacity of Indian families to fund studies abroad. “There has been a massive increase in incomes in India over the past two decades,” says RedSeer. “That has translated into a growing spend on post K-12 education. Additionally, people are becoming more aware of the benefits of studying abroad. Indians have a rising diaspora in popular destination countries.”

What works for Indian students?

The Indian market prefers English-speaking destinations. This is due to day-to-day use of English within India.
“Students from States like Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharashtra have migrated abroad over a long period. And have established communities in the top destination countries,” adds the report. “They are also more aware of the processes for obtaining permanent residency in the countries . This means that have access to better job opportunities.” Placements abroad are typically driven through networks rather than institutions.
Another report (link: from the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the IC3 Institute adds information. “There has also been a paradigm shift in the demographics of Indian students who aspire to study abroad. In recent years, smaller towns and cities have more students going abroad. Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities such as Vijaywada, Warangal, and Tirupati, have Indian students wishing to study overseas. There is a huge appetite for high-quality international education. This with a desire for international job opportunities.”