More foreign students come from India: Dubai study
Dubai - India is being seen as the fastest-growing international student target market in the next three years.
India could overtake China as the fastest-growing international student target market for universities, according to a Dubai study on transnational student mobility and university trends.
The market research, carried out by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and BMI Media, had responses from 104 universities across 41 countries, majority of which were from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and the UAE.
India is being seen as the fastest-growing international student target market in the next three years, however, China currently still has the top spot, the Transnational Student Mobility and University Trends in 2018 report revealed.
"India and China have always been the leading market for international students coming to study here (Dubai). It could be due to different reasons - the visa process, the flexibility. We have a lot of Indian families that are living here and their students are joining these universities, besides the ones that are coming from overseas," Mohamed Abdullah, managing director of DIAC, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the report's launch.
Universities were asked to rank their top five countries by transnational student numbers. China was on top by 17 per cent, followed by India at 16.8 per cent, five per cent was Nigeria, Saudi Arabia was at 4.9 per cent, and Pakistan at 4.8 per cent.
Abdullah added that the recent visa policy changes for students studying in the UAE will further attract more international students to the country.
It was announced earlier this year that students who are performing "exceptionally well" will be eligible for a 10-year residency visa and other students can receive a five-year visa. Students who have a dependent visa will also receive an extension so they can find employment opportunities once they graduate.
"The universities can benefit from these kinds of policies the government is implementing," Abdullah said.
US remain a top destination countryA total of 14 per cent of universities surveyed in the study reported a decline in international student numbers, 60 per cent of which came from US universities, due mainly to the current government policy across a range of issues.
Canada, however, is seeing a significant growth at a rate of 11 per cent or greater. The report said that quality of education, positive government policies and the US downturn have made Canada the fastest-growing major student receiver in the world at present.
However, Rupert Merrick, director at BMI Media, told Khaleej Times that the US is still currently the top receiver of international students, despite the dip in numbers.
"The US is still the highest in receiving the number of transnational students. Even though they've seen a dip in enrolment, the US is still the number one destination for students in the world. Canada is growing incredibly fast at the moment. It has good post-study work rights, it also has very friendly policies for inbound student and, right now, Canada is doing very well and has some of the fastest and significant growth," Merrick told Khaleej Times.