The trend of Indian students pursuing studies abroad has experienced a remarkable resurgence post-decline of the Covid pandemic. This is evident in the recent statistics released by the Ministry of Education. The data reveals a significant upswing in the number of Indian students undertaking higher education overseas, soaring to 750,365 as compared to 444,553 students in 2021.
Despite an increasing number of students heading abroad for higher studies, the tuition fees and cost of living are still pretty high for Indian students. It often serves as the decisive factor for students in their academic pursuits overseas.
While the steep tuition fees pose a concern, the cost of accommodation can be particularly staggering for students seeking affordable alternatives. For instance, the average tuition fee for undergraduate programmes in the USA and Canada is approximately Rs 40 lakh and Rs 19 lakh, respectively. However, the cost of accommodation for a four-year programme in these countries hover around Rs 48 lakh and Rs 40 lakh, respectively.
Given the overall high cost of expenditures associated with pursuing studies overseas, it is prudent for students to explore scholarship opportunities proactively while conceptualising their dreams. Given below are some of the distinguished scholarship programmes that Indian students must consider in their quest for international education:
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships Programme
Administered by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), this programme provides funding to Indian students who are pursuing their Master’s degree programme in the United States. The scholarship includes J-1 visa support, round-trip economy class air travel, funding for tuition fees, and cost of accommodation including accident and sickness coverage by US Government guidelines.
Erasmus Mundus Scholarships Programme
The Erasmus Mundus programme is the result of a collaboration among the European universities. It offers joint master’s and PhD programmes. Indian students stand to gain from this scholarship programme. It covers tuition fees, and travel expenses, and provides a monthly stipend.
Chevening Scholarships Programme
Funded by the UK government, the Chevening Scholarship programme is available to outstanding individuals worldwide, including Indian students. It supports one-year Master’s programmes in the United Kingdom, covering tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs.
JN Tata Endowment Loan Scholarship
This programme is available to Indian students pursuing their higher studies overseas. It is solely merit-based, considering individual achievements irrespective of caste, creed, or religion. The loan scholarship amount ranges from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh throughout the study.
Adelaide Scholarships International (ASI) Programme
Offered by the University of Adelaide, Australia, this scholarship programme aims to attract high-quality overseas postgraduate students to areas of research strength available at the university. It covers tuition fees, health insurance, and a living allowance.
New Zealand Excellence Awards (NZEA)
The New Zealand government offers these awards to attract talented students to the country. Indian students pursuing undergraduate or postgraduation programmes can benefit from this initiative. It covers tuition fees, living costs, and an establishment allowance. The NZEA 2023-24 awards comprise an overall package of NZ$ 320,000 offering eligible Indian students an opportunity to study at the world-class New Zealand universities.
Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships Programme
The Japanese Government offers scholarships to Indian students at several academic levels. It is dedicated to students pursuing their undergraduation and research programmes. It offers specialised training to college students promoting understanding and friendly relations between Japan and other countries. The scholarship offers monthly stipends ranging from ¥143,000 to ¥242,000, depending on the selected courses, along with tuition fee exemption and travel allowance.
Australia Awards Scholarship Programme
The Australian government extends Australia Awards Scholarships to Indian students at different levels, including Master’s and PhD programmes. These scholarship programmes cover tuition fee, travel expenses, and a living allowance.
C. Mahindra Scholarships for Post-Graduate Studies Abroad
Since 1956, interest-free loan scholarships for international higher education have been granted annually by the K. C. Mahindra Education Trust. KC Mahindra Fellows Fund was introduced in the year 2010. It awards up to Rs 8 lakh per scholar based on merit and needs criteria. While preference is given to those pursuing their studies in subjects vital for the country’s development, government and quasi-government officers with a commendable academic record pursuing specialised qualifications abroad are also eligible to apply.
Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship Programme
This scholarship programme is mainly designed for academically excellent students pursuing their postgraduate studies in prestigious institutions in India or abroad. This is a merit-based scholarship programme. It is awarded to a select few who meet the high standards set by the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation.
Scholarship mentioned of above programmes present a myriad of opportunities for Indian students to actualize their dreams in pursuit of their studies overseas. These programmes not only help alleviate financial constraints, but they also foster international collaboration and cultural understanding. Prospective applicants are encouraged to research and explore these available opportunities thoroughly, and thus transform their aspirations in pursuit of overseas education into a tangible reality.
(The writer is the CEO and founder of Buddy4Study)