Monday, February 23, 2015

The New Indian International Student

By Brendan Twist

World Education Services

An emerging Indian student segment – academically prepared and financially independent – is reshaping the notion of Indian international students as STEM-focused value seekers.

In a new Mobility Monitor article published in WES’ World Education News & Reviews, Dr. Rahul Choudaha describes this student segment as a product of the economic growth seen in India in recent decades.

“The economic liberalization and growth of new sectors like the IT services industry during the 1990s has created a new class of well-compensated white collar professionals,” writes Choudaha, chief knowledge officer and senior director of strategic development at WES. “The Highflier children of these professionals are now getting ready for college and will become the main drivers of international mobility among Indian students.”

WES’ student segmentation analysis identifies “Highfliers” as students with high financial resources and high academic preparedness, and “Strivers” as students with low financial resources and high academic preparedness.

“In contrast to the traditional value-for-money orientation of Indian Strivers, a new emerging segment of Indian Highfliers will be more inclined to seek quality of experience over other considerations when applying to U.S. universities,” Choudaha says in the new Mobility Monitor. “Highfliers will not be as financially constrained as Strivers and will be ready to invest in fields of study beyond STEM degrees.”

It could be years before the full impact of these Indian Highfliers is felt, but it will be interesting to watch the choices they make about their American educations – including where they choose to enroll, and what they choose to study.

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