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Depreciation of rupee affects cost of overseas education

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

Recent weakening of rupee over US dollar will likely to inflate overseas education costs. It will increase overseas education costs by 15-20 percent. This situation will affect students aspiring for education in United States, UK, European Union and Canada .The cost is steadily rising to a level that many students can’t afford. Getting overseas education can be very expensive now a days. According to the College Board, public colleges cost between $7,605 and $11,990 per year in tuition. Private nonprofit colleges average $27,293. The cost of college is going up at a faster rate than health insurance, personal income or the consumer price index. The amounts of available aid/funding/scholarships have also been declining. Average student loan debt has jumped to $19,200 per student.

The exact price of overseas education can rise and fall with the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, but in general, worldwide colleges are less expensive to attend. Top-ranked Cambridge University charges about $20,000 U.S. dollars for some degrees at current exchange rates. Some U.S. universities are opening campuses in other countries, and students can now attend New York University in Abu Dhabi or a variety of western colleges at Dubai International Academic City. Studying internationally can be a great way to save money, but there are many considerations that must be taken into account. First, families and students need to decide how to deal with changing exchange rates. Individual countries also have banking requirements that may limit how students operate, financially, in the country. International travel is becoming very expensive. International students always preferred UK as the best destination for higher education due to cutting edge technology, infrastructure facilities, flexible curriculum and availability of short duration courses. Moreover there are options for students to complete graduate /MBA programme within one year period. As a sequele to closure of UK Post Study Visa with effect from 6th April 2012 number of Indian students applying for university courses started declining. Each year, foreign students coming to the UK generate nearly 14 billion UK pounds to the nation’s economy. Hence, the closure of the UK Tier 1 visa program was being criticized by many including Universities UK.

Reduction in number of Indian students for graduate and post graduate programmes in UK universities have led to concerns over the financial viability of courses and departments particularly in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This was mainly due to abolition of the post study work visa.

The facility was popular among self-financing Indian students who sought to recover some of the expenses of studying by working for two years. The facility also enabled them to gain work experience in the UK that was seen to aid career prospects in India. The UK Tier 1 visa program provided a good option of financially supporting their stay in the UK by getting employment for a period of two years and also offered valuable work experience for foreign students. Large number of Indians avail the opportunity of working in the UK after successful completion of studies in the UK.

Reduction of Indian students to study STEM subjects affected the sustainability of certain subjects in UK Universities. Some universities are particularly concerned about the impact of reduction of international student numbers on specific subject areas, especially STEM; the reductions may affect the viability of some subjects in the future. Changes in student visa policies created an adverse impact particularly in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the business relationships. With the depreciation in the value of Indian Rupee, students are now facing serious financial crisis. The fall in value of Indian rupee has forced many of the students to keep apart their plans to study abroad and take up a job. It is observed that as the overseas education becomes expensive, students will be forced to take higher education courses in Indian institutions.

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