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Hesitation to study abroad due to covid and doubling of the high scorers in CBSE board exams is cheering Indian varsities this admission season.

After a delay in the admission process due to the pandemic, higher educational institutions are preparing to start their new session in November. Leading universities said they are witnessing a bigger pool of candidates due to a mix of students’ performance and pandemic-induced curb on brain drain this year.

For example, while Delhi University has seen a massive growth in registration of fresh applicants—from 367,895 in 2019 to 563,125 in 2020, a 53% growth, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Tamil Nadu and Marwadi University in Gujarat said they have witnessed around 10% growth in applications, with the admission process still on.

“There are two reasons for this jump—the number of students who have scored 90% and 95% has doubled this year, and second, the flow of students to foreign universities is relatively low this year due to covid-19 and the uncertainty over classroom teaching in foreign universities. This will push up the cut-off of admission for sure," said a professor at Delhi University, who requested not be named.

Naresh Jadeja, registrar of Marwadi University, said there is a clear indication that Gujarati students from good CBSE schools are now opting for domestic universities.

“Traditionally, good students from CBSE schools seek to go for foreign education, but it’s not the case this year. We have seen a good increase in those students applying in our university," Jadeja said.

“A good academic result in CBSE board and reduction in outflow of students to foreign universities is creating new opportunities for Indian universities," Jadeja said.

According to a recent survey by British agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) that publishes world university rankings, the pandemic has impacted the foreign studies plans of at least 57% prospective Indian students and 66% Chinese students.

This also corroborates the fact that Indian families’ spend on foreign education in April 2020 dropped to a four-year low, as Mint reported in June.

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