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A fifth of students say cost most significant barrier to studying abroad


NEW DELHI: An estimated 83% of students feel that high cost is the biggest deterrent to pursuing higher education abroad. The finding is part of Social Impact Report, released by MPOWER Financing, a fintech firm that provides scholarships and no-cosigner loans to promising students from around the world.

The report analysed the role that financing plays in international education and student outcomes from a size of 4,943 students from the organization’s CRM system.

The Social Impact Report was produced in partnership with Rajika Bhandari – an international higher education expert, former international student, and author of America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility.

The key findings are as follows:

Eighty-three percent of students report cost as the most significant barrier to studying abroad, and 91% say the availability of an educational loan helped them to pursue education overseas. About 79% of students who responded to the survey came from Global South (emerging) nations.

International students have a significant economic impact on their host country during their studies. MPOWER students have contributed $363 million to 300 universities.

International students also contribute significantly post-graduation to the economy and civil society in the U.S. and Canada.

About 18% of graduates have raised funds and advocated for key causes, and 10% have founded or co-founded a company or organization

The report concludes with a call to action for higher education institutions, policymakers, and the private sector to improve access to global education.

Suggestions on taking action include:

Colleges and universities should consider a full suite of financial solutions for students, including scholarships, financial aid, and wider availability of cross-border student loans.

Immigration reform is urgently needed in the U.S. to establish a clear pathway between higher education and skilled immigration to maximize the economic impact that international students can make.More scholarships and private philanthropic efforts focused on different groups of underprivileged students are needed to increase educational access and prevent “brain waste” or the loss of human capital. Displaced and refugee college students are particularly vulnerable.

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