For decades, Canada and the UK have been the preferred avenue for pursuing international education. Students from all around the world have flocked to Canada, the US, and UK for higher education and these nations have welcomed them with open arms.
However, the tide is changing now. Canada, the US, and the UK are not among the top destinations for studying abroad.

This article has explored the reasons behind this change and highlighted the emerging destinations gaining traction among aspiring students.

The conventional choices for studying abroad- Canada, the US, and the UK, slide down the list as New Zealand and Germany emerge as the top destinations among students.
The conventional choices for studying abroad- Canada, the US, and the UK, slide down the list as New Zealand and Germany emerge as the top destinations among students. 

The Changing Tide:

Canada will process 35% lesser visa applications in 2024:

Canada’s visa processing slowdown, diplomatic tensions with India, and the fake admission letter scam have significantly impacted its appeal.
Shattering the dreams of many aspiring students, the Canadian government has recently announced to process 35% fewer student visa applications this year. This comes amid the rising cost-of-living in Canada, which is pinned on the high number of immigrants in the country.

However, diplomatic stress between India and Canada and the scam of 700 Indian students entering Canada on fake admission letters is also to blame, since the largest number of student visa applications in Canada are from India.

After the death of Khalistan leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, on 18th June last year, Canada and India are facing diplomatic strain. The Canadian government has alleged that Indian government is involved in the murder, but India refuses openly. This has soared diplomatic relations between these nations, hence study migration between these nations is suffering heavily.

Amid this, India halted the issuance of study visa applications for Canada and Canada rejected over 40% of Indian study visa applications; and both of the times, the reasons were not openly disclosed, but were understood as a result of the diplomatic strain.

Apart from this, the issue of 700 fake student visa applications has fumed the tensions among aspiring students. In 2023, the case of over 700 Indian students being issued fake college admission letter was exposed. In the matter, an Indian immigration agent, Brijesh Mishra, was also booked.

After the scam and the alleged murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the tensions between the two nations have increased, shattering the dreams of many Indian students who wished to study in Canada.

The same is the case in the UK, where Indian applications dipped by 4% despite the overall rise in the student visa applications in 2023.

The Dripping Number of Applications to the UK amid Regulation Changes:

In 2022, India was the top student source for the UK, but in 2023, China overtook India, processing more than 105,000 applications while Indian application numbers declined to 103,000. The latest report by The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the UK witnessed 4% decline in the study visa applications from India.

This is significant because it comes amid the overall number of international applications increased by 0.7% in 2023. This signifies that the recession-hit UK, which was once among the top destinations for Indian students, is not on the top of their list anymore.

This is because of the recent visa regulation changes in the UK, which barred the entry of dependents with study visa holders. UK also increased the amount of financial proof for visa approval, increasing financial strain on international students.

The United States is facing security issues for international students:

The US, although attracting a record number of Indian student visa applications in 2022, faces concerns due to recent security incidents involving Indian students.
So far, the deaths of seven Indian and Indian American origin students have been reported in recent months.
Amid this, the tensions among the students can be seen, raising security issues among students.
So, while Canada, the UK, and the US slide down on the list of top destinations for international students, other nations are increasing their offerings to attract Indian students.

New Zealand is Ramping up offers for Indian Students:

India is the second largest source for international students in New Zealand. Currently, there are more than 15,000 Indian students enrolled in New Zealand. So, to cater to this increasing population, New Zealand is devising specialized programs for Indian students including scholarships.

Several government-funded options exist, like the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships with full tuition coverage, living allowances, and travel support. University-specific offerings include the University of Auckland’s International Student Excellence Scholarships or Massey University’s Global Excellence Scholarships, providing up to NZ$20,000 annually. Private scholarships like the India New Zealand Business Council Scholarship or the Tata Scholarship for Engineering Studies cater to specific fields.

Germany is Securing Professional Career for International Students:

Germany isn’t just opening its doors to Indian students; it is rolling out the welcome mat for their professional lives too. The country has extended working hours from 20 hours per month to 30 hours per month.
The country has also introduced an 18-month work search visa, which allows the students to search for jobs after completing their education.
Apart from this, all of the public universities in Germany charge no tuition fees for all undergraduate and post-graduate programs.


The trend highlights the dynamic nature of international education. While traditional destinations face challenges, others are stepping up with innovative strategies to attract the next generation of global learners.

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