fbpx
Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
11th Apr 2018

Signs of growth in Nepal

Nepal is stuck in 2016. At least that’s the impression you get on reading the latest UNESCO data on outbound student mobility from this important South Asian market. UNESCO puts total outbound at roughly 45,000 students in 2016, and suggests those numbers were essentially flat in 2017 as well. That 2017 value, however, is only an estimate and there is evidence to suggest a more significant increase in the number of Nepalese students abroad that year. For example, in the US, the 2017 Open Doors data from the Institute of International Education (IIE) places Nepal as the second-largest sending market for the US in the region, and second only to India. There were 20% more Nepalese students in the US in 2017 than there were the year before and a total enrolment of nearly 12,000. In Australia, meanwhile, Nepalese enrolments grew by 60% between 2016 and 2017 alone with more than 23,000 students studying in Australian institutions that year. Australia and the US, along with India, host nearly two-thirds of all outbound students from Nepal, and these examples alone suggest that the total number of Nepalese students abroad is edging closer to 60,000. This would mean that the number of students going abroad from Nepal has roughly doubled in the last five years. “A number of factors contribute to the rising number of students who want to go abroad,” says a 2017 item in the Kathmandu Post. “Our higher education system has not yet been able to create a convincing link between educational degrees and jobs. This contributes to a bleak outlook for students who study in Nepal. The curricula of most of our universities are merely knowledge-driven rather than industry-driven, which is why many of our students obtain degrees not knowing what to do after graduation.” Simply put, higher education is increasingly in demand in Nepal, and there is now a well-established pattern of students going abroad to complete foreign degrees, pursue international work experience opportunities, and boost their career prospects after graduation. There are other strong fundamentals that are driving growth in the market as well, including a youthful population. About a quarter of Nepal’s 30 million citizens are between the ages of 15 and 24. Beyond demographics, the economy continues to recover and grow following a major 2015 earthquake. The country’s GDP grew by over 7% in 2017, and is projected to expand by another 5% this year. This, along with a significant inflow of remittance revenue from citizens overseas, is helping to drive income growth and the expansion of the middle class. For its part, the Nepalese government has set a longer-term goal of seeing Nepal placed among the world’s middle-income countries by 2030. The hope then is that students will go abroad, acquire new skills and qualifications, and then return home to help strengthen the economy and society. But the Nepalese government does not keep nor publish statistics on the number of returning students. As a result, the net impact on the local economy of study abroad is something of an open question. What seems clear, however, is that Nepal continues to exhibit strong growth and to demonstrate its potential as one of the most important emerging mobility markets in South Asia. For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • The impact of immigration settings, affordability, and job opportunities on international students’ study abroad decisions Read More
  • Hong Kong needs to build more student housing Read More
  • ChatGPT for international education marketing: What is “Prompt Engineering?” Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Hong Kong needs to build more student housing In his October 2023 address, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee set out some ambitious goals for the...
Read more
Canadian immigration minister releases official cap figures and targets for 2024 In many respects, the implementation of Canada’s newly established cap on international student enrolment has been shrouded in...
Read more
Australia: Record-high foreign enrolment but tighter immigration settings now taking hold The Australian government has further increased its scrutiny of international student applicants in an effort to ensure incoming...
Read more
Business school survey again signals declining non-EU enrolment in UK The most recent survey from the Chartered Association of Business Schools in the UK reveals that, “International student...
Read more
US study visa refusals reached record levels in 2023 More than a third of prospective international students applying to study in the US last year were turned...
Read more
Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Since the Canadian government’s announcement in January that it would be capping the number of new study permits...
Read more
Canada: Ontario’s cap implementation plan allocates nearly all study permit applications to public colleges and universities On 26 February 2024, the Government of Ontario – Canada’s most-populous province and host to just over half of...
Read more
New Zealand’s international enrolment continued to recover in 2023 New Zealand’s international education sector welcomed significantly more students in 2023 than in 2022, according to data released...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links