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Observations from a Senior Trade Commissioner: India

10 Jul 2017

Indian parents’ global ambitions for their children are a well-established driver of inbound undergraduate student numbers to Australia, however opportunities are also emerging to increase Masters and PhD student mobility as newly established Indian private universities seek to strengthen their faculties. Equally, Indian multinationals hungry for research alliances which will fuel their product lines of the future present a partnership opportunity for Australian universities.

Below are the observations from Senior Trade Commissioner, India, Leonie Muldoon.

  1. What are the key opportunities for Australian education organisations in your market?
    Population growth and the financial ability of India’s growing middle class to promote global ambitions for their children is fuelling education demand which, given the constraints on the domestic education market, can only be fulfilled by overseas offerings. India is already Australia’s second largest student source country.
    The growth opportunity is in expanding the robust undergraduate student intake to post graduate students and engaging more directly with the market in research and development both at a university-to-university level and the university-to-Indian multinational corporation level. Many Indian companies are focused on growing their global presence and are looking to access new technologies to drive revenue growth and business efficiency.

  2. What are the main challenges for Australian education organisations when operating in your market?
    In regard to undergraduate recruitment the challenge for Australia in light of our own capacity constraints is to look to shift demand to consider a broader diversification of courses, enrolment levels and geographies. Engagement directly with top high schools is required if top students are sought to be recruited.
    Better access to research opportunities in the market requires sustained faculty level engagement to build stronger university-to-university partnerships and better connections with leading Indian Corporations’ research and development departments.

  3. What are Australia’s competitors doing differently in your market?
    We are seeing competitors more aggressively explore student recruitment in third and fourth tier cities across India.
    We are also seeing the US specifically create “Student Visa Days” when a greater portion of immigration resources are devoted to supporting information sharing and visa processing for prospective students. More than 4,000 students took advantage of the event recently and were welcomed by US Consulate staff dressed in their alma mater apparel and provided with an opportunity to hear from alma mater guest speakers. The “open for students” messaging is seen as an attempt to off-set anti-foreigner sentiment post Trump.
    The UK has stepped up its focus on transnational education and promotion of courses at their third market campuses in the Middle East.
    Finally, a number of German institutions are aggressively chasing master and PhD students by waiving or reducing certain fees.

  4. What are the key education initiatives in your market plan (that you would like to encourage Australian education organisations to engage with)?
    We are currently recruiting for Australia Business Week in India 2017. The event includes a higher education focused stream designed to:
    • connect universities with top high school principals and school counsellors to drive recruitment of top ungraduated students
    • explore ways to build stronger research ties in the market both at a university-to-university level and with Indian multinational corporations
    • build a base for better masters and PhD level recruitment.

For further information on the India market visit the India market page.