If your child has just graduated with first class or if they’ve completed their engineering with good marks, it is time for you to straighten up, and think clearly about the next step. Travelling abroad for higher education is a great option for those who do not want to jump into jobs straight after college. But are you wondering which countries are best for Indians who want to go abroad for higher education? A report from a recent study says that the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia are the top preferred destinations for Indian parents sending their children abroad for higher studies.

Statistics say that about 44 per cent of Indian parents prefer higher education from foreign universities for their children. Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) recently conducted a research study on Indian parents choosing foreign education systems for tertiary education for their children. The study revealed that the US topped the preference chart with 52 per cent parents wanting to send their children to America. Following close is Australia with 46 per cent parents’ vote and the UK is the chosen destination for 44 per cent parents.

Speaking country-wise, Indian parents displayed a keen interest in sending their children to Germany, Singapore, Austria, Japan, Switzerland, Canada and New Zealand for higher education. Speaking on the matter, Ramakrishnan S, HSBC India Head (Retail Banking and Wealth Management) pointed out that this relatively new phenomenon among Indian parents is largely based on two criteria – some parents want their children to develop better communication skills and interactive capabilities in the global perspective; another group of parents wants their children to gain international work experience. It is a known fact that numerous Indian families have the urge of settling abroad and an educative experience overseas means better chances of bagging jobs there.

Though some students are capable of bagging scholarships – full or partial, most depend on bank loans or their parents’ saved money for a degree from abroad. Also, good and renowned universities abroad take only selected candidates from India – those with higher percentages of marks. It is a trend with foreign universities that they do not readily take in under-postgraduate students. Many universities, however, have a favourable attitude towards students who have completed their post-graduation or M.Phil and are seeking research-fellowship.

The research revealed that 42 per cent of the parents taking the survey said that the biggest bottleneck in the way of their children’s international degree is the humongous cost associated with studying or living abroad. What is amusing is that even in first world countries like the UK, the USA, and Australia, parents have similar concerns. Sixty-three per cent parents in the UK, 65 per cent in the US and 64 per cent in Australia felt that funding was the biggest challenge.

The HSBC research involved as many as 1,507 students and 10,478 parents from 15 countries and regions of the world – India, Hongkong, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, Mainland China, Taiwan, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the USA, France, Canada, and Australia.