Indians, who represent the second largest cohort of international students in some of the world’s most developed economies, are “strongly overrepresented” in STEM subjects, particularly in engineering, according to an OECD report.
During 2017/18, nearly half of the international students in the USA were studying STEM subjects, and this share was around 79 per cent for Indian students, substantially more than the Chinese (45 per cent).
A similar trend can be observed in many other OECD countries, states the report. Germany reported three large groups of international students primarily enrolled in engineering fields in 2021 out of which Indian students constituted a total of 66 per cent surpassing Chinese students who accounted for a total of 50 per cent.
In 2016-17, more than half of the Indian students in the Netherlands were admitted to engineering degree programs. Almost two in every three students (a total of 63 per cent) in France were enrolled in a science course during 2018/19 whereas Chinese students in France tend to be “more equally distributed” across the social science field “including economics, social and natural sciences” with only 1% enrolled in the health and medical domain.
As many as 44 per cent of the students from Morocco and Algeria each also displayed an interest in the field of science. While non-EU students in Luxembourg constitute “half of all enrolled students” in the STEM disciplines, surprisingly, they only make up less than one-fourth of the “overall enrolled student population”.
Apart from analysing the over-representation of Indians in the STEM field, the report also highlights a variety of factors that Indian students take into consideration before moving abroad for higher education.
The data indicates that Indian students prefer universities in locations with lower fees and a prospective job market. Other factors influencing their choice include geographical proximity, the language of instruction, and policies regarding access to the labor market even during the course of study. Therefore, countries like Australia, Norway, Germany, and Switzerland see an influx of Indian students.
Courtesy : The Indian Express