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Last Updated : Sep 12, 2019 07:22 PM IST | Source:

Why is post-study work programme so important for Indian students?

Work experience in an overseas firm helps in getting better opportunities when the person comes back to India.

Swathi Moorthy @kpswathi

Padma M* did not think twice before choosing to study in Netherlands for a Master's degree in computer science in 2018.

Netherlands has an attractive post study work programme, which came into force in March 2016. The programme allows foreign students stay in the country for up to three years during which time he/she can look for work opportunities.

Something the UK did not offer and the US option was marred by the immigration troubles and not very encouraging. "So Netherlands to me was more attractive," Padma said.


On September 11, UK reinstated its post-study work programme .

To understand why it is important, one needs to understand various aspects to studying overseas.

For one, Abhinav Lohia, Director, South Asia and Middle East, Canam Investors, explained in an earlier conversation with Moneycontrol that there is a direct correlation between how welcoming a country is in terms of training and work visa and student visa applications.

When Theresa May did away with the post-study work programme for non-UK students in 2012, the number of students applying to UK universities came down. A report states that number of international students in the UK stood at 25,905 as of 2007-08, 7.6 percent of total non-UK population studying in the country. This figure, however, dropped to 3.7 percent in 2016-17.

Similar pattern could be observed in the US as well. After the Trump administration took over in 2017, number of students who apply to US universities dropped due to uncertainty around work permits after graduation.

According to reports, US universities witnessed decline in number of applications from Indian students in 2017.

Various reports reveal that the growth of Indian students declined from had declined. Between 2017-18 and 2016-17, number of Indian applicants for the US universities only 5.4 percent as opposed to 12.3 percent between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Indians are the second largest foreign student population in the US at 1.96 lakh in 2018 after China at 3.63 lakh.

Why is working there important for a student?

Another immigration expert pointed out that this becomes an important aspect as most students are looking to work after studies.

Though some do it to gain experience and boost their profiles, for majority of them, working there would mean repaying education loans faster.

V Parvatha* took an education loan of Rs 20-30 lakh when she went to the US for higher studies in 2011 and she concurs with the above statement.

"It is much faster to repay your student loans when you are earning in dollars ," she said. Thankfully, the student work permit regime made it possible for her to find a job within a year.

Same cannot be said for Vignesh N*, who went to the UK in 2013. His educational loan works out to Rs 30 lakh but he had to return to India soon after his graduation and another few months before he got a job.

“I’m long way from paying off my loans,” he said.

Work experience in an overseas firm helps in getting better opportunities when the person comes back to India.

*names changed to protect identity

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First Published on Sep 12, 2019 07:18 pm
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