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Indian education vs foreign education: The ultimate comparison for future students

Updated on: Jun 12, 2024
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Indian education vs foreign education: The ultimate comparison for future students
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Education is one of the most crucial investments for a student's future. Choosing the right education system that meets a student's needs and goals is essential.

Indian education and foreign education systems differ significantly in several aspects, such as the education system, tuition fees, curriculum and specialisation, faculty and research opportunities, and job opportunities.

Therefore, it is essential to understand the differences between these two systems to make an informed decision about pursuing higher education. This article will compare Indian education vs. foreign education, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.

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Indian education vs foreign education

India and foreign countries have different education systems, and students must weigh both pros and cons to make an informed decision. Here are the factors that show how the Indian education system differs from other countries.

  • Education system
  • Tuition fees
  • Curriculum and specialisation
  • Faculty and research opportunities
  • Admission requirements
  • Admission process
  • Performance and assessment
  • Grades and scoring
  • Cost of living
  • Career opportunities

Also read: The UK higher education system explained

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1. Education system

Indian education system

Education in India compared to foreign nations is predominantly based on the traditional model of teaching, which focuses on rote learning and theoretical knowledge. In this system, students are evaluated primarily based on their ability to memorise and reproduce information in exams.

While the Indian education approach has advantages in certain subject areas, it can limit students' critical thinking, analytical skills, and creativity. The system provides few opportunities for students to engage in hands-on or experiential learning.

In addition, students are expected to choose a particular stream early on in their education, and they are expected to stick to it throughout their degree. This approach limits their exposure to other fields and may prevent them from exploring different subjects or developing interdisciplinary skills.

Foreign education system

In contrast, foreign education systems like the Canadian education system prioritise practical and experiential learning. They emphasise critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, essential for students to succeed in their careers.

These systems provide opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning, internships, and co-op programs, allowing them to apply their knowledge to real-world situations.

Foreign education systems offer more diverse learning opportunities like interdisciplinary courses, online learning, and exchange programs. This diversity of options helps students broaden their skill set and gain a global perspective on their subject area.

The system also allows students to customise their degrees according to their interests and career goals, allowing them to explore different fields and develop a unique skill set.

Conclusion

The Indian education system has its strengths, such as producing highly qualified engineering, medicine, and management professionals. However, it also has limitations, such as limited practical learning opportunities, a rigid curriculum, and limited exposure to interdisciplinary fields.

On the other hand, foreign education systems emphasise practical learning, critical thinking, and creativity, providing students with a broader and more diverse education.

Also read: Best Countries to Study Abroad for Indian Students 2024

2. Tuition fees

Indian education system

One of the most significant differences between Indian and foreign education is the tuition fees. In India, education costs are relatively low compared to many foreign countries.

The tuition fees in India can vary depending on the level of education and the institution. Government-funded institutions typically charge lower tuition fees compared to private institutions.

For example, the annual tuition fees for a bachelor's degree in engineering in a government-funded institution can be around ₹50,000 to ₹2,00,000 (USD $700-$2,800) per year. In contrast, private institutions can charge anywhere between ₹2,00,000 to ₹20,00,000 (USD $2,800-$28,000) per year for the same degree.

Also read: Cost Of Studying In The USA For Indian Students

Foreign education system

In contrast, the cost of education in foreign countries, especially in developed countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia, is much higher. The tuition fees for a bachelor's degree in these countries can range from $20,000 to $50,000 per year.

Additionally, students also have to pay for living expenses, accommodation, and other related costs, which can add up to a significant amount.

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Conclusion

While the cost of education in India is relatively low compared to many countries, the cost has steadily increased in recent years. Foreign education systems are more expensive, but they also provide more opportunities for financial aid and scholarships, which can reduce the burden on students.

Also read: How much does it cost to study in Canada?

3. Curriculum and specialisation

Indian education system

The curriculum and specialisation options offered in Indian and foreign education systems differ significantly. In India, the education system is often rigid and does not provide students with many opportunities to explore different fields.

Students are expected to choose a specific stream or specialisation early on in their education and stick to it throughout their degree. The Indian education system is based on a centralised curriculum prescribed by the respective boards of education.

This system leaves little room for customisation or personalisation of courses, and students have limited choices in the courses they can take. As a result, students often need more exposure to different fields and may not have the opportunity to develop interdisciplinary skills.

Foreign education system

Foreign education systems emphasise flexibility and provide students with various course options and specialisation areas. Students can often choose their courses based on their interests and career goals, and they have the freedom to explore different fields.

Foreign education systems encourage interdisciplinary learning, enabling students to gain a more holistic understanding of their field. These systems also offer more specialised courses and degrees, allowing students to develop niche skills in demand in the job market.

For example, students can specialise in digital marketing, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, or data science. This specialisation helps students gain a competitive edge in the job market and contributes to their career growth.

Also read: What are the 4 best countries to study MBA for Indian students?

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4. Faculty and research opportunities

The quality of faculty and research opportunities is another area where Indian and foreign education systems differ significantly.

Indian education system

In India, while there are several institutions of national importance, the quality of faculty and research opportunities varies widely across institutions.

While institutions strive to offer the finest education and experience and are of national importance in India, the quality of faculty and research opportunities could be more consistent across institutions.

Many universities find it difficult to attract and retain top-quality faculty members, and there is also minimal investment in research infrastructure and resources.

The use of technology in Indian education is often limited, and many institutions do not have the necessary infrastructure and resources to support advanced teaching and learning methods.

Foreign education system

On the other hand, foreign education systems, particularly in developed countries like the US, Canada, and the UK, strongly emphasise research and innovation.

These institutions have world-class facilities and resources, which attract top-quality faculty members from around the world. Students can access many research opportunities and work with leading researchers in their field.

In many cases, foreign education institutions collaborate with industry, which allows students to work on cutting-edge projects and gain practical experience. This exposure to industry and research often gives students an advantage in the job market.

Another area where foreign education systems excel is using technology and digital tools to enhance teaching and learning. Many institutions use advanced technologies such as virtual and augmented reality to provide students with immersive and interactive learning experiences. 

Conclusion

While several institutions are of national importance in India, the quality of faculty and research opportunities could be more consistent across institutions.

In contrast, foreign education systems, particularly in developed countries, strongly emphasise research and innovation, and students have access to world-class facilities and resources.

The use of technology in foreign education systems is also more advanced, providing students with immersive and interactive learning experiences.

Also read: The benefits of studying abroad

5. Admission requirements

Indian education system

Before applying for a study program at a university, students are required to satisfy the eligibility requirements before sending the application. While the criteria vary with every university, here are the admission requirements of an Indian education system.

Admission requirements for the Indian education system

FactorEligibility criteria
Educational qualificationsUndergraduate degree: A student with a subject background in the science or commerce stream. 
Postgraduate degree: A student with an undergraduate degree in the related specialisation.

Data updated as of January 2024

Note: The eligibility requirement varies with every program and university. Ensure you check the course page for the requirements before submitting the application.

Foreign education system

Similar to the Indian system, foreign education systems require international students to satisfy their admission requirements to process their applications further. Here are the common eligibility requirements for higher education abroad.

Admission requirements for the foreign education system

FactorEligibility criteria
Educational qualificationsUndergraduate degree: An international student with a subject background in the science or commerce stream with an overall score above 65%.
Postgraduate degree: An international student with an undergraduate degree in the related specialisation with a GPA over 3.0.
English proficiency
  • IELTS: 6.0-7.5
  • TOEFL: 86-100
  • PTE: 68-73
  • Duolingo: Above 100
Visa
  • Canada: Canada Student Visa
  • The US: US Student Visa
  • The UK: UK student visa
  • Australia: Australian Student Visa (subclass 500)

Data updated as of January 2024

Note: The eligibility requirement differs with every program and university. Ensure you verify the requirements with the course page before submitting the application.

Also read: What are the requirements to study abroad from India?

6. Admission process

Indian education system

The admission process in an Indian education system involves various steps for students to apply for the program they wish to pursue. Here’s the admission process for better understanding.

  • Research and shortlist your desired courses
  • Check eligibility and ensure your profile satisfies them
  • Attend the entrance exams if required
  • Attend the interview by the university
  • Wait for the admission results
  • Pay the fees and confirm your admission

Foreign education system

In addition to the usual admission process, foreign education systems require you to apply for a visa so that you are allowed to pursue higher education in the respective country. Here’s the step-by-step process for international students.

  • Determine which study destination you wish to pursue higher education
  • Research and shortlist courses that suit your interests
  • Check eligibility and ensure your profile satisfies them
  • Prepare for and clear the English proficiency exams (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or Duolingo)
  • Attend entrance exams (SAT, ACT, MCAT, GRE or GMAT) if required
  • Attend the interview by the university
  • Wait for the admission results
  • Pay the fees and confirm your admission
  • Apply for a visa and complete the process to obtain it

Conclusion

The Indian and foreign education systems follow almost the same admission process. In addition to the regular process, international students are required to take English proficiency tests and apply for visas to pursue higher education in their preferred study destination.

Also read: The ultimate list of entrance exams to study abroad

7. Performance and assessment

Indian education system

The Indian education system determines a student’s performance and grades majorly through assessments. Universities conduct monthly assessments and semester exams that makeup at least 70% of their final scorecards.

Assignments and projects like seminars, essays, research projects, reports, thesis, case studies, and group activities that contribute to the remaining performance metrics in the scorecard.

Foreign education system

Foreign education systems function in a way that is opposite of the Indian education system. Non-classroom activities and assignments, like projects, research opportunities, seminars, essays, and others, contribute to most of the performance metrics in the student scorecards.

Conclusion

While the Indian education system focuses more on assessments and exams, foreign education systems evaluate students' knowledge through assignments and projects. This gives them more exposure to the subject than just textbook knowledge.

8. Grades and scoring

Indian education system

Indian universities typically use a 10-point grading system, which students later convert to percentages for job interviews and to pursue higher education.

Students usually take the semester exams for 100 marks, which are then converted and calculated along with the assessments and assignments to obtain a final score. The letter grades are from A to F in Indian education systems.

The percentage ranks in the Indian education system are as follows.

  • Distinction: Above 75%
  • 1st class: 60-75%
  • 2nd class: 50-60%
  • 3rd class: 40-50%

Foreign education system

Foreign education systems commonly follow the 4-point Grade Point Average (GPA) system. The grade points are a culmination of assessments, assignments, research, and project work.

Common GPA to percentage table

GPAPercentageLetter grade
4.093-100%A
3.790-92%A-
3.387-89%B+
3.083-86%B
2.780-82%B-
2.377-79%C+
2.073-76%C
1.770-72%C-
1.367-69%D+
1.063-66%D
0.760-62%D-
0.0Below 60F

Data updated as of January 2024

Related: International grade equivalency

9. Cost of living

Indian education system

Many students travel across India to pursue their desired courses in their desired university. They are required to check their cost of living, such as accommodation, food, and other essential expenses.

The average cost of living for students pursuing higher education across India is between ₹8,000 to ₹20,000 per month.

Foreign education system

The cost of living is relatively higher for international students pursuing higher education in different parts of the world. Prices vary with every study destination as the expenses differ regarding currency exchange rates, lifestyle, availability of resources, inflation, and others.

The average cost of living for students pursuing higher education abroad is between USD $500 to $3,500 per month. It is important to remember that the expenses vary with every country and region you choose to study.

Conclusion

Students travel to different parts of India to pursue higher education at relatively affordable costs. While studying abroad can be expensive, the experience can be rewarding for international students in terms of post-study work visas and the vast number of available career options.

10. Career opportunities

Indian education system

India has a competitive job market with several high-paying job opportunities for graduates. The pay scale differs with every job sector, degree and skill set the student possesses. Here are the top job options for Indian students after graduation.

  • Healthcare professional
  • Data Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Blockchain Analyst
  • Cloud Architect
  • UX/UI Designer
  • Full Stack Developer
  • Digital Marketer

Foreign education system

After graduating abroad, international students have to find job opportunities in a comparatively competitive job market. But they would have greater exposure and better pay for a rewarding career. Here are the top career options for international students abroad after higher education.

  • Software Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Management Consultant
  • UX/UI Designer
  • Product Evangelist
  • Registered Nurse

Conclusion

While the global job market is considered competitive for fresh graduates, international students find it more challenging to land a job abroad than in India. But the pay scale and scope of working abroad are quite rewarding and boost your profile.

Your dream of studying abroad is here! Talk to an Edvoy counsellor and kick-start your journey today.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of studying abroad for Indian students?

Studying abroad comes with great perks for international students.

  • Wide range of course programs
  • Engage in diverse cultures
  • Excellent academic and research opportunities
  • Fantastic part-time gigs
  • Affordable cost of living
  • Remarkable job opportunities

Which is better Indian education or foreign education, pros and cons?

Indian education vs foreign education

Indian educationForeign education
Traditional teachingMore practical and experimental learning
Affordable tuition feesHigh but affordable tuition fees
Several specialisations with limited flexibilitySeveral specialisations with flexibility
Limitations in research opportunities due to lack of resourcesAccess to a wide range of research opportunities
Pre-determined eligibility criteria for every course and specialisationPre-determined eligibility criteria for every course and specialisation
Tests and exams contribute to the majority of the scoringTests and exams, along with assignments and projects, make up the final score
Relatively low cost of livingAffordable cost of living
Great job opportunitiesCompetitive but remarkable job options

Which country has the best education system in the world?

The US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and others have the best education system in the world.

Which foreign degrees are valid in India?

The Indian government approves all degrees obtained by students from Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIs). So, a BSc, BA, MSc, MA, BTech, MTech, or MBA from any university abroad is valid in India.

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