UK has been seeing a significant decline in the number of Indian students, especially after scrapping the Post Study Work scheme in 2011. Several UK universities (including top ones) have been struggling to attract talented Indian students since then. But, there has been a dark horse – De Montfort University aka DMU (Leicester). De Monrtfort University has been generating tremendous interest among the Indian students owing to excellent course curriculum, flexible application process, generous scholarship schemes and integrated paid internships. So, how De Montfort University is attracting Indian Students?
How De Montfort University is Attracting Indian Students – Case Study
Customized Courses Meeting the Exact Needs of the Indian Students
When it comes to study abroad, most of the Indian students go for Postgraduate studies. For De Montfort University, we received 90% applications for Masters Courses, and only 10% for Bachelor studies. As per as our understanding and analysis, Indian students face lot of confusion during course (and university) search (short-listing). We had organized a webinar (Traditional vs New & Emerging Study Abroad Destinations), and 31% of study abroad aspirants reported that they face issues with short-listing courses.
MS Engineering Management
We went a little deeper. Indian students, especially those from Engineering background (B.Tech./BE) form the majority of the outbound students for study abroad; and they usually go for Masters Programs in Engineering (MS) or Management (MBA). In case of DMU, 54% of applicants were from engineering background.
We had also organized a webinar on “What after Engineering – MS or MBA?” and it had received a huge response. In fact the recorded version has been a smash hit on both MU and YouTube channels. Majority of these candidates were quite confused between MS and MBA. The programs at DMU have been perfect solutions for these candidates. The courses at DMU both MBA and MS include modules on Technical and Management aspects. The MSc in Engineering Management has been a popular subject and we received very good response for this program.
MBA (Global) Program
MBA has always been a hot cake among Indian students. But, while choosing an MBA program in abroad, the Indian students face the following problems:
- GMAT requirement
- Mandatory Work Experience requirement
- Very high fees
- Confusion over choosing a specialization (e.g. MBA in Finance, MBA in Marketing or MBA in Consulting etc.)
The MBA (Global) program is a perfect program for all students facing any (or all) of the above issues. Moreover, DMU also provides 15% – 35% Scholarship (of the tuition fees) for the MBA program to deserving candidates. In comparison, most of the UK universities provide 10% – 20% of Tuition Fee Scholarship. DMU MBA program is an excellent course in terms of ROI, and we received more almost 20% applications for the MBA program.
Currently India is going through the startup boom, and there has been a tremendous buzz over the e-commerce sector after the success of the companies like Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal, Ola etc. The scenario is more or less the same outside India as well. Computer Science and IT students and graduates have shown tremendous interest in the MSc Computing program at DMU. Apart from traditional modules of Computer Science, the MSc Computing program at DMU puts a great emphasis on the e-commerce (E-Commerce Software and E-Commerce Systems). Besides, modules like Database Systems and Design and Human Factors in System Design impressed several candidates. As a consequence, we received almost 20% of applications for the MSc Computing course at DMU.
New-Age & Flexible Courses
Apart from MSc Engineering Management, Masters Courses in Robotics, Intelligent Systems, Mechatronics, Sustainability, Finance & Investment, Fashion Management with Marketing and Business Law have been big crowd pullers. Students these days are becoming open and keen to try out new courses rather than traditional MS and MBA programs; this one also worked superbly in favor of DMU.
High Employability Rate and Strong Industry Links
The graduate employability rate of DMU is 96.7%. While choosing a university international students (including Indian students) consider the return on investment as a very important factor. Besides, most of the courses at DMU have been designed after consulting with the industries (e.g. Deloitte, HP, PwC, Rolls Royce etc.). Hence, the students gain the specific knowledge and skills in order to get industry-ready and thus highly employable.
Easy & Flexible Application Process
The DMU application process is very simple and straightforward. Even MIT-Sloan (among Top 10 B-Schools in the World) saw a 35% increase in MBA applicants (2016) after making the application process easier than the last year. More importantly, the DMU process solved (or eased out) two major blockers of Indian students.
Firstly, Students who do not have an IELTS score (or not able to book an IELTS exam), can have the opportunity of appearing for Skype interview or DATE exam. Hence, it is possible for Indian students to get IELTS waiver.
Secondly, students without a printed LOR receive the alternative option of providing referee details (name, designation and contact details) – this again worked in favor of DMU to see an increase in the applications. Thus, students without a printed Letter of Recommendation on official letter head can get admission at DMU.
Thirdly, students used to receive their offer letters within 2 – 4 working days (provided all the documents and forms have been submitted in required manner). The prompt response from the University has been really appreciated by the students. In addition to that, students also received regular follow up from the DMU India Office – which has been an instrumental factor as well.
Availability of Guaranteed and Paid Internship for International Students
All DMU courses involve a paid internship of 13 weeks. The MBA program also includes 3-months of In-Company project. Internships are major attractions as they provide:
- Real world experience
- Opportunity to build network
- Earning opportunity
- Better employment prospects
Affordable Fees & Generous Scholarships
DMU is offering several scholarship schemes – £2,000 to £5,000 per applicant. While the £2,000 tuition fee discount is pretty much guaranteed for all international students, there are more (£3,000 – £5,000) for highly qualified students. Moreover, DMU has also got few exclusive scholarships for Indian students.
Rankings and Reputation
DMU has been named as one of the finest universities in the world for international impact. The university features among quite a few ranking tables, and he major ones are:
- Among Top 40 in the UK
- Among Top 25 in the UK for employability
- Among Top 3 in the UK for Teaching standard
- Among Top 600 in the World University Ranking (THE)
Branding & International Strategy
Last but not the least, DMU has got an excellent international strategy, and maintained a great brand visibility. In 2011, DMU honored Mahendra Singh Dhoni by awarding him a honorary doctorate degree (picture below). Due to its excellent work throughout, DMU got shortlisted for top higher education award in 2016.
After getting the university status in 1992, DMU has come a long way. They made a brand for themselves by offering courses that are tailored for the job market. They go by the motto – Learning To Succeed, as depicted below in the DMU TV ad.
All the above factors played important roles in order to receive high number of applications and hence De Montfort University is attracting Indian students. We hope other universities will follow the steps taken by DMU.