In conversation with Amrita Ghulati, Academic Head, IC3 Institute, regarding the IC3 2021 Student Quest Survey Report.
Could you please throw some light on the methodology followed for the IC3 2021 Student Quest Survey Report?
Our report is based on an email survey sent to 2000 schools in India and other countries in South Asia. We sought responses from students in grades 9 through 12. A total of 6,608 students worldwide participated in this survey. This number is significantly higher than last year, which saw 2252 students participate. This year, our survey witnessed an increase in both domestic and international students, with a total of 621 international students participating, primarily from SAARC countries. Of the total respondents, 3786 students were from grades 9 and 10, and 2822 were from grades 11 and 12. We added specific questions for each grade level as relevant to their stage of decision-making. The purpose of this year’s Student Quest survey was to take a comprehensive look at the decision-making process for high school students when choosing a path for their future. Additionally, the survey results validate the good work counsellors are doing, simultaneously pointing to an unfulfilled demand for counselling.
What are the deciding factors for Indian students while choosing a country of study?
In choosing a study destination, students voted for high-quality teaching, the presence of high-ranking institutions in an area, affordability, and the opportunity to stay back in that country, specifically for jobs, as the most important decision-making factors. Studying abroad is a major decision and often a life-changing experience. It is crucial to weigh all the pros and cons of a country objectively.
What makes the United States a popular study destination for Indian students? Where does India fall short?
An opportunity to study abroad, especially in the United States, a country that houses some of the premier institutions in the world, definitely offers students a fresh perspective, exposure and potential for growth in learning. The primary reasons to choose an international study destination (not specific to the USA) are a higher quality of education, flexibility in the curriculum. Still, moreover, it’s the perception that studying abroad is more prestigious. Considering that the USA houses some of the higher-ranking universities of the world and offers Liberal arts programs, in keeping with the factors identified as important for students, it continues to be a popular destination.
There has been a decrease of overall 4% in the number of students wanting to go abroad to study compared to last. Having said that, ‘lack of an adequate number of seats in good institutions’ did come up as a reason for having to look abroad for higher education.
Are there any new observations in the career choices made by Indian students as a result of the pandemic?
There is certainly an impact (reported by 39% of respondents) on the higher education plans though the detailed nature of this impact has not been delved into by this survey. Three primary observations of Covid impact are-
- higher acceptance of online education for now across all grades 9-12
- students of grades 9 & 10 may consider changes in their subject choice for high school
- the main impact for students of grades 11 & 12 has been that their first college choice may have become unavailable (specific reasons not dug into by the current survey could potentially range from reduction in financial capacity of the family to compromised international mobility).
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