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The demographic trends in Europe of the increase in life expectancy while is good news, it has also been a subject of concern for some time for most European governments and economists. The trend shows while there may be a small increase in the overall population and that too largely migration driven, the working category is declining.
Simultaneously, the ageing population is increasing at a higher rate. The larger ageing population presents many challenges to an economy. This leads to more stress on the working population and its ability to provide the continuum of growth for the economythus increasing the pressure on public expenditure.
Europe currently comprises of 50 countries with a population of over 500 million.
As many as 24 European countries are conscious that there is a need to ensure that their local skilled workforce is maintained and developed through education. In addition, they also need to attract an educated, smart and skilled workforce from other countries enabling them to counteract the decline in their working population and provide for their ageing segment of the population.
And therein lies the good news for International students that are looking for options to gain work experience after their course completion. Countries such as Germany France, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and others have set up a policy framework to attract International students. The Government funded universities all have typically low tuition fees. In many countries, at the end of the study programmes, students have the option to stay back for a defined period, for example, France allows students to stay back for a year to find jobs, provided these are in the skill shortage areas.
University of Bologna is one of oldest dating back to 1088 followed by University of Paris and then of course there other universities such as Oxford and Cambridge that followed in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Scandinavian countries are also well-known for their education. The first universities like Uppsala and Lund came up in 1425. Austria and Germany had technology universities very early on in 16th and 17th centuries.
While university of Delaware(USA) in the 1920’s may be accredited for the first study abroad programme, in reality, it was a Dutchman Emo of Friesland who went to study at Oxford in 1190 that paved the way for the centuries to come. The study abroad programmes have since developed to offer to students the complete international experience and exchange schemes whereby students can go and study in other countries for one or two semesters.
The study abroad schemes help students gain a great deal of confidence, and develop the ability to interact in different languages enabling them to have a wider global experience.
While the tution fees are low, there are also scholarships on offer. One of the well-known and sought after scholarships is the Erasmus scholarship that is named after a Dutch scholar, who was known for his radical views. The scholarship is one that allows students to study in three countries to enable them to transcend the borders and develop a better understanding of the different nationalities as well as the diversity of the cultural experience.
There are a large number of other scholarships that are for international students and of course are always very competitive. The following are targetted for Indian students and these are primarily for PG and/or research students. These include:
Alcatel Lucent so study at HEC Paris, Louis Vuitton – INSEAD Business School,
Dr Ursula Glunk – Maastrciht Univeristy – Netherlands,
INLAKS –Shivdasani for studying at top colleges in Europe
Another scholarship provided by the the European Commission named NAMASTE is again specifically for talented Indian students that the European universities wish to attract.
There are many more you can explore if you are ready to put in a great deal of work and have a very interesting profile and strong academic record.
Indian students have always been venturesome and many have gone to study medicine and sciences in Eastern Europe years back since the 60’s. The larger numbers for the past 20 years however have traditionally gone to the seven English speaking countries — USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand and Irealnd.
The Indian student today is even more adventurous and savy and certainly not hesitant in going to a European university offering programmes in English. Local language skills are manadatory and those students that make the effort to acquire these are better prepared for a better living and job opportunties that will come their way. Hence larger numbers are also now preparing for these in India.
European universities are also well-known for their specialisations: Switzerland for hospitality as well as business programmes. France is well-known for its fashion and culinary skills. Many French business schools such as INSEAD and HEC have a global reputation. Italy again is always known for fashion and also offers other programmes in other creative areas such as design, graphics and interiors.
Germany has always had a strong reputation for Engineering and technlogy and now attracts as many as 10,000 Indian students who are bright and talented and many are absorbed into the job markets which is why there is a huge attraction for the Fatherland. It is also important to point out that there are many well established private universities and business schools also that are government approved and have higher fees and offer good quality education.
Given below is a list of some of the European universities that are a popular choice for Indian students.
Having lived in continental Europe, one of the things that one just appreciates is the accessibility of multiple countries within four to five hours driving distance through very beautiful landscapes. This proximity means that one can drive to another country for a weekend while studying or working such that the eductional experience is further enhanced and is invaluable in your own development.
— authored by Natasha A Chopra, Managing Director, The Chopras