Although the rate of growth of Indian students going to the US for education has slowed down, the country still attracts the highest number of students from India. In order to address the apprehensions faced by Indian students and advise them on the best courses and universities, Hyderabad-based YAxis Foundation and US Embassy have forged a collaboration to launch YAxis Advisory Centre free of cost. On the sidelines of the launch of the center, US Embassy Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer Karl Adam spoke to SrutiVenugopal on varied issues faced by Indian students and what does the US offer in terms of education and career. Excerpts from the interview:
There are about 200,000 Indian students studying in the US as of last year, so we want to make sure that Indian students get the right amount of information and advice so as to avoid scams and frauds. This centre has highly-trained advisors on board who will provide counseling to students and parents on different courses available and what stream to choose, how to apply for a visa, what kind of funding options are available and many more. The US has more than 4,700 institutions of higher education and we help the students choose the right school as per their choice and not because of any other factor.
I totally disagree with the fact that the number of Indian students going to the US is falling. While statistically there was 5 per cent growth last year, the number of Indian students in the US in the last 10 years has only doubled – which is a very positive sign. There are no apprehensions in terms of number of applications that we receive and our Universities are some of the most diverse and welcoming places in the world. Indians still want to the best education for their kids and they are getting richer by the day and on the other hand US continues to offer the best education institutions in the world.
While Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) continue to be the dominant course there are students from India who are opting for other courses like music, drama, liberal arts. We want to make sure that Indian students understand that the US is just not STEM but for other fields like multimedia, design and liberal arts. There has been an increase in the number of undergraduate students indicating that students prefer not just specialised technical courses but a holistic approach to education.