Transformation in Indian Education
Indian education has undergone a sea change in the last few decades. Earlier, education meant a degree in arts, law, agriculture, commerce, science, engineering, veterinary services and medicine. Over the years with the advent of newer technologies and their rapid development educational courses underwent tremendous transformation. Keeping in tune with development in other fields of endeavour education too followed suit. Specialization became a byword as employers demanded expertise in specific fields. The demand necessitated the creation of newer courses. This period saw the introduction of specialized courses such as the ones in sports medicine, finance, ocean engineering, and biomechanics, bio-engineering, aircraft maintenance, puppetry, tea and coffee tasting, habitat, flavour chemistry and journalism. The list of new courses is endless.
The education system saw another development when it took on vocational courses in its stride as training in specific skills for particular vocations became vital for recruitment agencies. For instance, courses in pilot training, boiler mechanics, para-medical services, beauty services, hospital management, travel services and public administration became popular because of their immediate employability factor.
When the education system transformed so did the support system such as the finance sector which considered new courses for special attention. Thus, lenders began extending a personal loan to a variety of courses. This was a welcome departure from the traditional loans only to specific degrees in engineering and medicine. Thus, NBFCs enlarged education loan eligibility courses to include the new courses.
The educational loan industry has come of age and today lenders offer educational loans to a host of courses in education covering a wide range of subjects and disciplines.
Representative List of Courses Considered for Education Loans
The range of education loan courses considered for loans include
1. Traditional Courses
- Postgraduate, graduate degree and postgraduate diploma courses approved for universities and colleges by regulators such as UGC, AICTE, AIBMS, ICMR and other central and state government agencies
2. Courses conducted by professional bodies
- ICWA, CA and CFA
3. Courses conducted by autonomous institutions such as
- IIM, IIT, IISc, XLRI, NIFT, NID, National Law School, AIIMS
4. Diploma courses (approved by central agencies and conducted by private agencies) such as
- Aircraft maintenance
- Pilot training
5. Courses of reputed institutes accredited to Department of Electronics or Institutes affiliated to a university such as
- Computer certificate courses
6. Courses for studies abroad
- Undergraduate and graduate courses in reputed universities in any discipline
- Postgraduate courses – MS, MBA and MCA
- Specialized courses – CIMA London, CPA USA
- Doctoral courses leading to Ph.D.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. There is no one universal list that is applicable across all lenders. Each lending institution has its own list and terminology. The main consideration for lenders to extend education loan to students is the near certainty of repayment. Unlike other loans, education loan gives hope to students to acquire knowledge, skill, training to become employable in specific disciplines, trades and vocations so that they can earn a livelihood and improve their standard of living. The lenders invest in this hope for the student and consider courses that can ensure a good paying job or business so that the students can repay the loans.
Thus, it is in the interest of students to dream their future and discuss with the lender how best to avail an educational loan for the course of their choice.