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Foreign shores lure visual media students

Posted on August 30, 2012
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CHENNAI: With visual communication emerging a favourite career option among students in the country, the number of students going abroad for higher study is on the rise. Experts estimate a 10% to 15% increase in the number of students going abroad to pursue higher studies in visual media compared to last year.

More students are heading to overseas destinations, including the US, the UK and Australia, for courses like filmmaking, animation and graphics, visual communication, journalism and mass communication. Experts following trends in overseas education said that while there is no dearth of institutions teaching such courses in India, global recognition and cutting edge technology drawing students to institutions abroad.

“There is a definite increase in the demand for such niche courses, especially with Hollywood and Bollywood becoming a household term,” said Naresh Gulati, CEO of Oceanic Consultants.

While students who want to pursue a postgraduate degree head to the US and the UK, Canada and Australia are preferred destinations for diploma-level programmes. Many students from leading Chennai colleges like Loyola, Stella Maris and Madras Christian College are looking overseas to add to their skill.

Overseas educational consultants said that while a majority of those heading overseas still seek to pursue higher education in engineering and management, studies in visual media are slowly gaining ground. Director of Dilinger Consultants Robert Dilinger estimates 10% to 15% of the total student population travelling abroad for education to seek these courses.

“Five years ago there were no enquiries for such new gen programmes, but a lot of students are asking about them now,” he said. Not everyone can afford it, and banks are more likely to offer education loans to courses they are familiar with, but more people are getting loans for these courses now, he said.

Media professionals who had studied abroad said that the courses are a bit more expensive than similar courses here, but there is value for the money spent. If a visual communication course costs around 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh here, it could cost around 10 lakh there. For many the return on investments is better outside the country than in India. “No mediaperson in a good studio in Australia earns less than 30 lakh to 35 lakh,” Dilinger said.

Arun Bose, who studied MA in Communications in a Chennai college and went to Northumbria University in the UK to pursue MA in Film Studies, said: “When I left for the UK to study I was working under an ad film maker here, but after I came back after my studies I had the confidence to strike out on my own.” While he is a part-time journalism teacher at Madras Christian College, he makes documentary films and is engaged in community participatory audio-visual artworks through an Indo-UK collective Cockroach in Cocktail. Bose said it was worth the time, money and effort spent abroad, because the students get a new take on life in a field where perspective matters a lot.

M Ramya
August 28, 2012

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-08-28/news/33449239_1_higher-studies-courses-offer-education-loans

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