Most preferred overseas destination for engineering students in India

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‘In India, we first study engineering and then decide what to do in life’ – this common joke about engineering in India captures the craze around this domain in its true spirit. While at first instance it may look exaggerated but numbers do back this claim. India produces about 4 million engineering graduates every year whereas China and The United States produce 700,000 and 90,000 graduates respectively.

With millions of aspirants, getting into decent engineering college in India is a major challenge for aspirants. This along with the limited scope for higher studies and traditional teaching setup has made many aspirants look for greener pastures of engineering education abroad. Western countries such as US and UK have been traditional favourites among Indian engineering aspirants. But, off late Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong have also been preferred by Indian students to pursue engineering courses.

With choices abound, the challenge of picking the right overseas destination for engineering education has become a tricky task. Engineering aspirants have to consider and evaluate many different options before selecting their technology school. One must consider the medium of instruction, cost of fees, living cost, part-time job options, scholarship opportunities and return on investment among many different things. Based upon these factors, we have shortlisted the most preferred overseas destinations for engineering students in India.

The United States of America
Many Indian engineers join MNCs hoping to get an onsite opportunity to prove their mettle leading to the ultimate prize of an American green card. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that US ranks on top of the list when it comes to picking an overseas destination for engineering courses.

The majority of technology schools in the US manage their admission process independently with different selection norms and standards. But majority of them accept SAT score for undergraduate programmes and GRE score for graduate level courses. This is a major challenge that students must consider before finalizing the US. But on the other end, there is a centralized accreditation agency ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), which provides you all the information about the engineering institute, college’s standing and academic prowess, which makes the selection process a bit more easier.

With a 4-year undergraduate programme, US’s technology schools follow a system that is quite similar to that of India and this makes it easier for students to adapt to it. But on the other hand, they follow credit based evaluation system, which means you complete the engineering programme only after earning the necessary credits and not merely on the basis of number of years.

In terms of cost, engineering colleges in the US can charge anywhere between USD 20,000 to USD 45,000 per year for an undergraduate programme. But on a similar note, after earning a US engineering degree the placements are equally rewarding balancing the scales of ROI (return on investment).

Preferred Institutes: Stanford University, Princeton University, University of California, California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

United Kingdom / Great Britain
Fondly termed as the ‘mecca’ of higher education, UK has always been on the list of Indian engineering aspirants as a favoured destination for technical education. With prestigious engineering institutes that are renowned across the globe, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is on this list.

Indian education system is developed on the legacy gifted by our colonial masters; thus it doesn’t come as a surprise that Indian engineering aspirants would find it very easy to adjust to their academic setup. Technology schools in the UK offer 4-5 year academic courses in different domains of technology i.e. B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology), BSc Engg (Bachelor of Science in Engineering), B.S (Bachelor of Science) and B.Engg (Bachelor of Engineering). While these courses may sound different, they are quite similar to those on offer in India.

While the recent hike in visa fees has made studying in the UK a bit of a challenge but as far as tuition fee is concerned, students can expect them to be in the range of 11,000 to 14,000 pounds (Rs 11,00,000 to 14,00,000). However, do keep in mind that the cost of education in the UK varies from one course to another depending upon their duration.

Preferred Institutes: University of Cambridge, Durham University School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, University of Nottingham, Oxford University and University of Warwick

Germany is without a doubt the leader when it comes to science and technology. No wonder it attracts a significant number of engineering talents from India who wish to pursue their academic pursuits there.

With the presence of more than 300 technology schools, Germany is a worthy destination for candidates looking for engineering courses abroad. What makes it a very favoured proposition among Indian students is the cost of education. With most colleges and universities being state funded the cost of education even for high-value domains such as engineering is very cost effective compared to other destinations.

While many engineering institutes in Germany require basic knowledge of German language, it is not mandatory as the majority of technology courses are taught in the English language. Another advantage of choosing Germany as an engineering study destination is the provision to work 90 days or 180 half days in a calendar year, which is beyond campus jobs, unlike the US. This help many Indians from poor financial background muster the courage to go for engineering education to Germany. In addition to this, joining an engineering degree programme in a German institute is followed by paid internship in top MNCs that lead to full-time placement.

Preferred Institutes: Universität Karlsruhe, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Technische Universität München, Technische Universität

In the last decade, many Asian countries have come to the fore when it comes to technical education and Singapore has left other behinds while competing with other western counterparts for the title of preferred engineering destination for Indians.

The biggest advantage for Singapore has been the location. With close proximity to India, Indian engineering aspirants prefer this Asian major for engineering education. What aids Singapore is the presence of world-class educational facilities and simple student visa and admission procedure to higher education institution.

Engineering institutes in Singapore follow a system very similar to India with 4-year academic programmes. Selection to technology schools is done on the basis of academic performance of students and Indian school grades are accepted happily by these engineering colleges.

Furthermore, the cost of living and education both are quite manageable for Indian students. An engineering degree from a reputed engineering college in Singapore would cost anywhere between S$24,000 to S$30,000 (Rs 10,80,000 to 13,50,000 ) per year. Indian students can also find a number of scholarship options that can help them bear the financial cost of technical education in Singapore.  

Preferred Institutes: Singapore Management University, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore

With prime emphasis upon quality education, Australia attracts a lot of Indian students to its shore and technical education is no exception to this. In last two decades, engineering institutions from Australia have risen in the ranks globally when it comes to standards of excellence in technical education. With worldwide acceptance, focus on experimental learning and proven track record in research; Indian engineering aspirants look at the land down under with favourable eyes.

Another reason for Australia to be on this list is the simple and easy process for visa processing. In 2011-12 academic year, a total of 33,764 Indian students were awarded educational visas, which clearly corroborates the above point. Another positive is that Australian engineering colleges accept Indian school grades for selection of students after completion of 12 years of formal education.

In terms of cost, students can expect the tuition fees in the range of A$10,000 to A$16,500 (Rs 5,80,000 to 10,00,000) per year. But with plenty of scholarship options available, it is not a grave concern for Indian engineering aspirants.

Preferred Institutes: RMIT University, University of Sydney, Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of Queensland

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