Students Rush to Foreign Shores to Pursue Higher Education

Ludhiana – The economic downturn is making it difficult for colleges to place their students, but they are now ready with the damage-control plan.

In a recent trend, colleges are inviting foreign universities and colleges to hold education fairs, facilitating and encouraging students to opt for higher studies.

At one such exhibition conducted at the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, about 500 students from nearly 30 institutes from across the state participated in the Canadian education fair.

Various education institutes feel that since ‘it is the best time to study’ because of lack of job opportunities, the students should train their guns at further studies and buy some time for themselves so that they land a better a job a year later.

With fewer jobs left in the job market in the present scenario, many of the students of the outgoing batches in several colleges are mulling over the decision to pursue higher studies for another year, which is evident by a rise noticed in the number of applicants applying to different colleges in Canada and Australia.

Arun Salaria who completed his BTech in Electronic and Communication Engineering from a college in Pathankot a few months ago, has been looking for a job ever since he passed out but to no avail. “I have not got a job yet, So now, I have now decided to go for higher studies.” “So have I,” echoed Jatinder Preet Singh, a fresh engineering graduate from the Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran (Mohali), filing an application to a Canadian college.

“An additional qualification is certainly going to stand them in good stead while negotiating for a good job a year down the line as the economic crisis gradually dwindles,” said Anoucha Villavarayan, International Recruitment Manager for George Brown College, Toronto in Canada.

Representatives of six prominent colleges of Canada agreed that the total number of applicants this year was going to increase as a rise of 3-5 per cent had already been noticed.

Stacey Barefoot who is International Student Advisor for SAIT Polytechnic, says there has been a rise of about 5 per cent in the number of applicants under the international students category in the institute where 20 per cent of 850 international students are Indians. “Interestingly, our domestic market has decreased with less number of students coming forward,” she said, attributing it to global slowdown in the businesses.

Phyllis Gates, associate director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, for Seneca College, Toronto, said that though any rise in the actual number of students flying to Canada can be gauged by September, going by the number of applicants it looked set to increase.

According to KS Mann, training and placement in charge at GNDEC, who apprises about the objective of the fair, “Students do not have much choice given such tight circumstances in the job avenues. Many of them will be with no jobs at the end of their course, so it is the best way to deal with the issue,” he said. (

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