French universities
French president Emmanuel Macron is determined that more international students will attend French universities. Source: AFP

More students from India are heading to the European Union to further their studies thanks to the diverse range of courses and accompanying costs as well as the availability of English as medium of instruction.

Countries like France and Germany are seeing increases in the number of Indian students in their higher education institutions while lesser known ones like Poland and Lithuania are putting in the effort to attract more Indian students, according to The Economic Times.

“In the first six months of this year, there has been an increase of 40 per cent in the number of Indian students going to study in France over the previous year’s corresponding year, in which 4,500 students made the trip,” Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler told ET Magazine.

While UK is still the number one study destination in Europe for international students , Germany is now the second-most popular, ET notes.

“Germany’s attractiveness as a study destination has had a boost in recent years from its low tuition rates, ready availability of English-taught masters programmes, generous scholarships and funding support and improved post-study work rights for Indian students,” a spokesperson for The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), said.

India sends the second highest number of its students overseas, data from the Institute of International Education shows.

And as Indian families explore other options than the traditional UK and US models, European universities are also increasing the number of courses they offer in English, even in countries which are non-English speaking, such as Bulgaria.

“Poland too is putting in a lot of effort to attract Indian students and recently a country as small as Lithuania has a club of Indian students studying there. Many European companies are expanding in India and globally, thus providing employment opportunities from Indians graduating from EU,” said Thibault Devanlay, counsellor for political affairs the delegation of EU to India.

The bloc’s Erasmus exchange program, which provide the option of a fully-funded joint masters’ degrees across multiple countries in EU and partner nations, is also said to be a factor attracting Indian students.

These figures stand in contrast a recent report by the Association of Indian Universities’ which found that local Indian universities are struggling to attract interest from abroad, resulting in a drop in the number of enrolments.

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