Published: 03rd October 2022
Visa delays, education loans, high cost of living: What's standing in between higher education abroad and Indian students
A recurring theme during the pandemic was that students had resorted to crowdfunding on sites like Ketto and GoFundMe for higher education
With student visa applications at an all-time high in the post-pandemic environment, those planning to pursue higher education abroad have no end in sight to their troubles.
Although the students have done everything necessary to obtain the visa, it is being deferred for no fault of theirs. The agony has been compounded by the rising cost of living. Barry O’Driscoll, Regional Manager for Education in Ireland told The New Indian Express that the financial requirements for student visas are expected to see a change due to a rise in the cost of living in Ireland.
“You should have evidence that there is at least 7,000 euros in your possession as a prerequisite to apply for a student visa so that you are able to support yourself for a year. This threshold will be increasing to 10,000 euros due to the soaring cost of living in the country,” he said.
Students are also suffering from mental health issues due to the delay.
“I had applied to several universities, but have failed to get an education loan since my family is financially weak. Potentially, I have lost a year waiting for the loan to be sanctioned. I slipped into depression and suffered from other mental health issues,” a student told TNIE.
Opting for crowdsourcing, exploring other options
A recurring theme during the pandemic was that students had resorted to crowdfunding on sites like Ketto and GoFundMe for higher education. While banks have proved difficult with specific requirements, students have sought loans from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), despite higher interest rates.
Over the last six months, partnerships have been signed between Karnataka colleges and universities and several countries, including the UK, Australia, USA, Poland and Germany. Meanwhile, universities from third-world countries and areas with lower costs of living are taking the opportunity to advertise their universities.
“Queensland has a lower cost of living, making it more affordable for students who want to pursue higher education. While fees are almost the same, the costs of living are much lower compared to states like Victoria and New South Wales,” Prof Glen Coleman, deputy VC (Academic Affairs), University of South Queensland told TNIE. Countries like Australia have put a system in place, under which students are ensured a visa following acceptance, otherwise, the university will be penalised.
Despite these efforts, the higher education scenario seems to be in favour of those with deep pockets.