A really important shift has just taken place in the world of international Indian students going abroad. For the first time ever, there are now more Indian students studying in China than in the UK! According to the Times of India (and other sources), there are now 18,171 Indian students in China against 18,015 in the UK, the numbers for 2016 reveal.
UK has always had a strong allure for Indian students (indeed the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru attained his education in the UK). The strong historical, cultural and social links meant that UK was a favoured destination for Indian students pursuing their studies.
This has now changed. A combination of factors, from Britain’s immigration policies, Brexit, China’s emergence, and greater availability of information has meant Indian students are now taking a much more diverse approach as to where they obtain their education.
Indeed, Indian students are the fifth largest group of international students in China (after S. Korea, USA, Thailand and Pakistan). This number is expected to grow in the coming years.
India and China have both shared a close historic education link dating back to at least 1,000 BC from ancient Taxila (where Chinese scholars to discuss and learn logic, mathematics, astronomy and science) to Nalanda (from around 5 CE).
Over time, it is through education and dialogue that both these historic neighbours will forge even greater collaboration and partnership. There is scope for greater learning of best practices to create a harmonious and progressive approach to education.