68% Students of Grades 11 and 12 Prefer Higher Education in Home Country: Joint Study by IC3 Institute and Shiv Nadar University, Delhi NCR

Less students wish to travel abroad for higher studies this year India and Australia rank similar for higher education 52% students consulted career professionals or counsellors


New Delhi : IC3 Institute and Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR, have released the 2021 IC3 Institute Student Quest Survey Report that examines the dynamics of students’ decision-making process for higher education. More than 6600 students between grades 9 and 12 from 2000 schools across India and South Asia responded to the survey.



The report suggests that students begin thinking about their career and related job prospects early – in high school itself. 71% of the students have already started thinking about their future employment. The top three factors in choosing a university include the institution’s placement record, rankings, and program design. Ranked fourth were fees, followed by location and the quality of faculty members. Interestingly, quality of faculty as a factor for choosing a university was low-ranked by students in grades 9 and 10, while students in grades 11 and 12 ranked quality of faculty significantly higher. When choosing a particular program, three factors seem to be most significant: about 35% of the respondents said that they would choose a program based on their interests, 27% favored future job prospects, and 21% percent give the highest importance to their own perceived strength in a particular area of study.



The report reveals 68% of Class 11 and 12 students preferred to study in their home countries, a sharp increase of 24% from the year 2020. When asked students in grades 9 and 10, 49% preferred to study in their home countries, and 24% remained undecided, highlighting the importance of counseling in earlier grades and of making the right information available to students as they evaluate their options.


Overall this year, 25% of students are planning to go abroad for higher studies, which is four percentage points less than last year. 83% of the students choose ‘quality of education’ as the biggest reason to choose universities outside of their home countries.

“As educators, we are all striving hard each day to make the best possible support available to our students, both in the classroom and beyond. How these students are guided today, how they take decisions, what factors influence those decisions, will really shape their educational and professional choices in the coming years. The choices of our future leaders will determine the talent and human capital this world will have, defining where we are headed as a global community. Taking a data-centric approach, and asking students themselves how they want to be supported is critical to informing and developing the best practices of career counseling support in schools. The findings of the 2021 IC3 Institute Student Quest survey bring forth useful information for all stakeholders- schools, universities, industries, and policymakers”, says Mr. Ganesh Kohli, Founder, IC3 Movement & Chair, Board of Trustees, IC3 Institute.




32% of the students who preferred to study abroad favored the U.S., followed by the U.K. and Canada (20% and 16%, respectively). Following the top three countries, Australia and India are similarly ranked in students’ choice of preferred country of study. The choice of India as a destination to study abroad underlines the growth and improvement in the country’s higher education landscape. In fact, India ranks higher than Singapore or any European country. This year, China does not figure significantly in the students’ choice set.


Dr. Partha Chatterjee, Professor & Head – Department of Economics, Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR, said: “Students, who are on the verge of adulthood, have to make crucial decisions that can shape their careers and, indeed, lives. Understanding how that choice is made, who influences that, what information they use, what factors play important roles, will not only help institutions, schools and universities alike to design better programs and processes, but will also enable us to help these students alleviate their anxiety and make better choices. This survey attempts to do just that, and the insights that we get from it are undoubtedly very useful.”



82% of the survey respondents agree that career consultation is important in high school. 52% of the respondents consulted career professionals, teachers or counselors, indicating a definitive role and increasing influence of counselors in the education system. About 29% of respondents met with their counselors at least once a month, and 61% of the respondents met their counselors at least once in three months. Strikingly, the gap between the desired frequency of these meetings and the current frequency is significant: 54% of the students would like to meet their counselors at least once a month. This clearly suggests the need for schools to find ways to augment their counseling services.


The 2021 IC3 Institute Student Quest Survey, in collaboration with Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR, was conducted between June and July 2021. 56% of the total respondents identified themselves as female.



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