A few weeks back, we had put up an article on “Foreign Education” and evaluated the pros and cons of overseas education, particularly in hitherto A few weeks back, we had put up an article on “Foreign Education” and evaluated the pros and cons of overseas education, particularly in hitherto favourite destinations like US, UK, Australia and Canada. However, with changing world economy and students gathering more and more information from various sources, Indian students are appreciating European countries as their education destination for they have been found to offer quality education at competitive costs and more importantly simpler visa procedures. Indian students are also getting attracted to these countries because of these being great tourist destinations, students getting to learn new language (specific to the country) and safety/racism not being a reason to worry.
The EU has streamlined the education systems across institutions in different countries with the help of the Bologna Process. The Bologna Process is the process of creating the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and is based on cooperation between ministries, higher education institutions, students and staff from 47 countries, with the participation of international organisations and aims at academic exchange that is attractive to European students and staff as well as to students and staff from other parts of the world.
The envisaged European Higher Education Area will
- facilitate mobility of students, graduates and higher education staff;
- prepare students for their future careers and for life as active citizens in democratic societies, and support their personal development;
- offer broad access to high-quality higher education, based on democratic principles and academic freedom.
The degrees obtained in EU that have automatic recognition and mobility between the 30 European nations and they cover a wide variety of subjects that can be summed up in 5 areas.
o Health Sciences
o Social Sciences and Law
o Engineering and Technology
o Arts and Humanities
Let us look at some of these countries and what they have on their “platter”:
Did we know that this historical country has much more to it other than just Pizzas and Architecture! Italy is one of the four countries that first engaged to create the so-called EHEU. It is a centre for learning and has a number of universities providing specialised & quality education. There are Institutes and universities offering courses in Architecture, Fashion, Engineering, Business Mgmt, History, etc that attract many Indian students to this country. Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome are popular education centres for international students. Italy ranks among the 8 most industrialised countries in the world. Alongside some big companies, both state-owned and private, it has developed a sound network of small and medium-sized undertakings, promoted a few scientific parks, and are incentivising basic and applied research in a great variety of fields (biology, ICT, medicine, physics, etc.).
The academic year in Italy is made up of two semesters. The first semester starts in September/October and ends in January/February. The second semester starts in February and ends in July. Italian higher education is structured in a binary system, consisting of two main articulations:
- the university sector (is made up of 89 university institutions, of which 2 universities are for foreigners.)
- the non-university sector.
Indian students generally choose to study Fashion, food and Art in Italy. Some of the leading universities are: Universita di bologna, Universita di Pisa, Politechnico di Milano, etc.
We know this country a little more now (thanks to our films), but once again its not just tourism and Food that is luring the younger generation from India to this beautiful country, it is also for higher education. The country has great climate, crimes are lesser and the people are friendly, along with and more importantly inexpensive education. There are over 51 public and 21 private universities in Spain spanning the entire country with higher concentrations of universities in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Madrid has the highest number of private universities in Spain. The Spanish Universities offer handpicked academic program for international students. The international students have the following choices:
- Academic Programs (Exchange Programs): they can study in a Spanish University for a semester, an academic year or during the summer.
- Degree Program: they can earn a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree in a Spanish Univ
- Choose from a wide range of Spanish language courses (which is an important international language today).
Graduate degrees in Spain are organized into 3 different cycles:
1. Single-Cycle Programs in Universities in Spain (or short-cycle studies): Examples: Library Studies and Nursing
2. Two-Cycle Studies with an intermediate diploma in Universities in Spain: Examples : Economics, Law, Architecture, Engineering
3. Two-Cycle Studies without an intermediate diploma in universities in Spain (or long-cycle studies): Examples: Veterinary Science, Medicine.
In addition to these three cycles there are other specific requirements when it comes to obtaining a Master’s Degree or Doctorate Degree in Spain.
Some popular Institutes are: Universitat de Barcelona, Madrid, IE University, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Indian students generally opt for business, architecture and Spanish language courses.
Famous for Natural beauty & heritage, mountains, watches, cheese, chocolates, trains, it’s a lesser known fact that this heaven on Earth is soon becoming a great place for Indian students to pursue various courses.
As a country whose main resources are knowledge and research, Switzerland acknowledges the vital role played by foreign citizens in the drive for innovation, research and business acumen. And as Switzerland is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for education, its attraction for studying and research is well-established. The high proportion of foreign university students (21%), Ph.D. students (53.6%) and teaching staff (45%) attests to this. You can come to study in Switzerland as a regular student, an exchange student, or in some universities as a free-mover (guest student).
Asian students generally pursue courses in Hotel Management, international affairs and public management, and the famous Universities are those of Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich.
Switzerland ranks among the top ten countries worldwide for R&D expenditures (2.9% of the GDP in year 2006). Private companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and engineering industries, fund three quarters of all R&D in Switzerland, with the remainder coming from the public sector. Most basic research is performed by universities, whereas applied R&D is predominantly the domain of the private sector. Switzerland attracts international experts with the high-quality of its research, its well-funded research institutions and the innovative environment. The relatively high salaries and a high quality of life are also contributing factors. The desirability of Switzerland as an international research centre is proven by the fact that the majority of PhD students and postdocs at Swiss universities are international (53.6% in full-time equivalents).
1. Bachelor’s Degree: For admissions to Bachelor’s Degree programs, students should have cleared class XII. While Indian boards (like CBSE, ICSE, local state boards) are recognised, some universities (like Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, IE, etc) may ask for IB scores or A Level Grade exams.
2. Master’s Degree: For admissions to Master’s Degree courses, students generally need to have a 3 or 4 year Bachelor’s degree from a recognised college/institute. Many universities require a GRE/GMAT valid score also.
Security Check-In: Some Recommendations: Even at the cost of us sounding redundant, we suggest you do the following before taking the plunge:
- Check if the programme and/or the institution you are choosing are subject to reliable quality assurance and whether or not the targeted qualification will be recognised in India.
- Find out the language of instruction. In most countries, programmes are offered in the language of the country and this may act as an obstacle to begin with and also later during employment.
- Check thoroughly the immigration regulations (visa requirements during study and work) as well as social security arrangements.
- Estimate the overall costs of your stay, including tuition fees, housing, subsistence, social security etc. and inquire about possible funding opportunities / part-time working facilities in the host country.