With expenditure on food, living expenses and stay rising sharply due to the weakening rupee against the dollar, Indian students aspiring to study abroad have been hit hard, a study by Assocham revealed Thursday.
Since March 2012, the rupee has weakened by 15 percent and it is under pressure due to the growing concerns over the current account deficit. It hit a record low of 58.98 against the dollar Tuesday.
As per Assocham, fees for studying in the US ranges from $20,000 to 30,000 (around Rs.12 to Rs.18 lakh) for undergraduates and from $30,000-40,000 (around Rs.18 to 23 lakh) for MBAs. Due to the slide in the rupee, students will now have to pay an extra Rs.2 to 4 lakh.
"The application fee, examination fee and the tuition fee, even the cost of living will be higher for the students," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
Students planning for next year's admission will also have to pay more for TOEFL, GRE and GMAT application forms, apart from the admission forms of foreign universities that range anywhere between $50 and $500 (Rs.3,000 and 30,000) depending on the institute.
"RBI (Reserve Bank of India) should actively sell dollars rather aggressively and tame it. On its part, the finance ministry should continue to take more measures to encourage capital inflows then only rupee will regain its strength," added Rawat.
As per Assocham, of the 6 to 8 lakh students that go abroad for studies from India every year, about a lakh go to the US, followed by Britain, Australia and South East Asia. The quantum of currency that goes abroad is approximately Rs.100,000 crore.