Clint Yaxis
Clint Khan, Director at Y-Axis, one of the UAE's leading immigration consultants with the chief guests at Edufair 2024 in Dubai yesterday Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Demand for studying abroad in New Zealand and European nations has surged significantly in recent years, said Clint Khan, Director at Y-Axis, one of the UAE's leading immigration consultants and the Platinum Sponsor of Gulf News Edufair, on the sidelines of the event.

“We've observed a shift in student preferences regarding study destinations. While Canada was previously popular, recent changes in government rules, including the doubling of living expenses, have led to a decline in interest. Currently, European countries remain popular choices, while there's a noticeable trend towards New Zealand, owing to its high-quality education system and favourable immigration policies, over Australia. This shift applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate studies,” said Khan.

Commenting on the course preferences of students from the UAE, Khan said, “Along with engineering programmes, we often see students pursuing courses in healthcare and related professions. The cost of studying abroad, which includes tuition fees and living expenses, remains a key determining factor when choosing a destination."

Among European countries, Germany has emerged as a top destination for studying abroad, attracting students for its educational opportunities and job prospects. “Germany’s recently introduced Opportunity Card programme, effective from June 1, allows individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree and one to two years of experience to work in Germany without the need for proficiency in the German language. Additionally, Germany's public universities attract many students due to their scholarships and free education offerings.”

France, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic also continue to be popular choices for students seeking diverse higher education options.

Khan advised students to carefully consider study destinations that provide clear pathways to permanent residency and citizenship, ensuring long-term opportunities beyond education.

“Many students opt to study overseas but fail to secure a direct pathway to permanent residency, often returning to their home countries after completing their studies. However, countries like Germany and the UK offer pathways to permanent residency through skilled worker visas after a certain period of employment. Therefore, it's wise for students to consider these pathways if they aim to settle in their study destination long-term.”

Apart from promoting international study destinations, Y-Axis recently launched the Destination UAE programme, focusing on studying, visiting, and investing in the UAE. “Currently, we're facilitating business set-ups for individuals from India to the UAE. Additionally, we've partnered with universities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to promote higher education opportunities to students from India,” said Khan.