Lets Talk About Higher Education in Australia, Europe and Canada

Higher Education Australia
Article by Ashish Arora.

I have been reading your blog since long and I am pretty amazed with the fact that you have so much time to maintain a blog being an international student yourself, maybe, I am assuming that you are still a student but this is highly appreciable because I being international student in Australia, hardly get time to even update a blog but I certainly do read your blog.

However, coming to the point, there is lot of information very useful on your blog which is undeniably true but I sometimes feel that you get carried away with good part of education system in US.

Why don’t you discuss flip side of it?

I think you have a physiological view about education and it’s impact on an individual’s career, however, you have missed out on a very essential point that a career is not always build upon education and everything is not in books.

For example, if a student A is investing some money in education in US, he or she is also investing that amount of time in pursuing that degree, with the same amount of money and time investing in an organization that same individual can land up with a job in US on the basis of his or her experience in India (Remember US is a free economy and encourages talent not exactly on the basis of education).

Is the time and money well invested?

Also there are many good universities in Australia, Canada, Europe, Asia and other parts of world with countries like Australia doing very good in economy than US.

Perhaps average salary of an IT engineer in Australia is better than in US currently.

Do you know that?

Have you analyzed factors like world economy, average salary of profession you are choosing in the entire world, your own interest in a particular field, impact of your education on your career, demand and supply gap(does US really needs that many people in a particular interested area?).

Also though I think that US still has world class education, not every country can frame policies and rules satisfying both international students and their own citizen.

Countries like UK surely have rules for international student framed to control over bogus universities, control migration, same way in Australia and Canada too rules for international students change every year.

These rules take into considerations lot many factors and those factors are very well discussed and framed by education authorities within government because education is linked with permanent residency, jobs and other things.

Sometimes they conflicts with other policies which may go against citizens living in the country and probably government can fall into trouble themselves.

Do Understand that Education is a business at the end where people doing the business have to make sure that they are getting right profit.

The education policies in a country is devised looking into the factor that a candidate X will invest some money in the country and when he or she is well equipped with right kind of education and skills, he will fill up labor demand supply gap in the country.

It is a win-win situation for a country unless it works exactly how they want.

What if even after educating himself, person X does not lands up with the job? not because he/she was not capable of getting job, maybe that kind of job is not much in demand in the country.

What if they do not land up with RA, TA because universities don’t get right grants for research into that area?

What if research into that area is no longer needed?

Not because again student is not capable but economy of a country does not allows government to put that much of money into research.

There are infinite factors which can put someone into trouble. So generalized views on the basis of your own experiences won’t work for long.

On the flip side, there are universities in Europe where you can pursue PHD for free, perhaps you get enough stipend to survive a good student life.

Also management is a major area where most of people want to pursue their career. However, US comes under most costliest country in terms of management education.

How many people can afford Harvard Business School?

1 year degree in UK is devised looking into time and money consideration which I think US don’t think much about.

Perhaps, with the money I invest in educating myself in HBS, I think I can start up a business in UK, US or Australia.

Do you know that ISB, Hyderabad is ranked among top 20 B-Schools in the world. Though, ISB still charges a very high fees but pretty less as compared to other schools.

Do you know that NUS Singapore though performing pretty well in ranking both for technical and management degrees is highly affordable as compared to universities in US.

Overall you are doing a great job and thumps up to you mate. But don’t get carried away with US education system because sometimes it gives a generalized view.

Good on you mate, Keep up the good work!!!

Answers to Complex Questions

I agree with you on several of  facts you have stated

  • Harvard is Expensive
  • Other countries provide good education for cheap
  • US has negative side with respect to immigration policies
  • Education is Business

Here are the areas that we differ from our opinions.

I have never been to Australia. When I talk to students, first things they say when comparing Australia to US is racism.

With Australia suffering a recent drop in international student numbers because of factors like a stronger currency and a number of violent attacks on Indian students in 2009, it could be an opportune time for New Zealand. Source.

I have friends living in Australia.

30 Days back my close friend visited Australia. He completed MS in USA and have been working in USA for over 7 years now.

He said, I didn’t see or experience anything similar to what was reported in newspapers. Maybe some students were at wrong place at wrong time. But, people are not as friendlier as in USA. There was certain amount of friction that I could feel.

Maybe you share your experience about living and studying in Australia here in this blog.

 

Harvard Business School

Perhaps, with the money I invest in educating myself in HBS, I think I can start up a business in UK, US or Australia.

I will be first person to appreciate and congratulate you if you start a business and want to change the world with your ideas and products.

I stated in one of my previous post –  People don’t go to Harvard just because they can afford, people go there because of value it offers.

Even if you start a business, the value it will add when you have Harvard MBA in your business card will be tremendous.

It basically reduces your degrees of separation by few factors.

Also, when people talk about Harvard and say its expensive, I always think, they just haven’t realized the value of degree from prestigious schools.

People go to Harvard, because they want to be leaders, not followers.

Value of Education shouldn’t be judged by how much money that you have to spend to get educated.

But, how much money  that you will make throughout your life and its impact on your career.

I meet someone who Graduated MBA from Duke (Ranked #5). He spent close to $120,000.

He is from Chennai, MS in Biomedical Engineering  (Ok School).

He laughed about money he spent for Duke, because  he paid off the loan in 3 years. You can do the Math. Paying 120,000 in 3 years with other family expenses proves that he could be making close to $150,000 to $200,00 per year  + signing bonus. (Highest Paid MBA Graduate in 2011)

Why Other Countries

When students ask why not Singapore, Australia or UK, I always ask the following question to them.

Where do you want to work and settle down in your life?

Most of them answer USA.

My reply to them is simple.

If you plan to settle down in USA, then apply for Universities in USA.

Where to Study – USA, UK or Germany?

You stated USA is Free Economy, One can come to USA even after working in India for few years.

I agree to that.

Out of several lakhs of Engineers who graduate, how many get a chances to come to USA?

You are at mercy of the company that send you to USA. You don’t have control on what projects you get assigned to you or choice of programming language.

You might be interested to work in Java, but they will ask you to work in COBOL.

Then company will ask you to sign contract, so you can’t quit the job  right after coming to USA. Then you have to be in USA from April to October, then you have to find a consultant who can apply for your H1B. Learn about H1B Visa Process.

So, its not as easy as you think to settle down in USA.  If you want to plan your future to live and work in USA, then coming to USA as student would be easier and least resistance path.

Above all, you get world class education.

People with Masters Degree or above is likely going to earn more than person with just Bachelors. degree.

Those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over their lifetime, while those with master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively.

That said, the major and industry a student selects ultimately have an enormous impact on lifetime earnings. Those with bachelor’s degrees who work either in management or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) earn more, on average, than people with advanced degrees of any level who work in fields like education, sales, and community service. Source  – College Payoff Report by Georgetown University.

For 2 years of additional effect, your impact throughout your life is like o.4 Million Dollars.

Free Education in Europe

Yes, you can study for free in Europe.

You have to think about “liveability factor“.

  • Do you have any Indian Community nearby?
  • Do you have place to buy Indian Groceries nearby?

My friend/relative  is doing PhD in Austria. They have to drive 1.5 hours one way to the nearby Indian  Grocery Store.

Place where I live in USA, within 5 minutes drive, I have 4 Indian Grocery Store and over 10 Indian Restaurants with very good network of Indian community and friends.

I’m not sure about others, I prefer to live where there is good Indian community around.

Even with good number of Indian students, few find it tough to live in USA.

If you happen to be someone who never stayed outside your parents hone, then find a place study where there is good Indian Community. If you pick a place in Europe with  few Indian Students studying there, then life will be really tough. Trust Me.

We looked at  student who got admission in USA, UK and Germany and looks like he decided to study in Germany.

I don’t have expertise in Germany, but looking at interest level of students, I should start looking into other countries too.

I might have missed couple of your questions, but country of your choice depends on your future plans.

If you go to one country and you don’t like it, then there is always an option to start over. It takes time and effort to make the switch.

Education and Career

I think you have a physiological view about education and it’s impact on an individual’s career, however, you have missed out on a very essential point that a career is not always build upon education and everything is not in books.

You have got it 100% right.

Unfortunately, courses are not designed to teach life skills, but only things that are required for student to get a job. I didn’t learn to blog as a coursework while studying Masters.

If a student doing Engineering in India, says that I’m going to be a professional blogger, his parents is going to think he’s going nuts and do everything in their power to make him find a job in software company.

Refer to the video posted in Faebook yesterday – State of Software Engineers in Chennai, India.

Summary

  • Make an informed decision about the country you want to study.
  • If decision is wrong, then have courage to make the switch.
  • Decide on the country based on your long term plan.
  • Canada, Australia have easier Immigration policy.
  • UK eliminated Post Study Work Visa
  • Germany is making it easy for High Skilled Workers
  • I just prefer USA right now.

Your Comments?

Which country do you prefer and why?