Thomas Mathai – Riya Education – Education Consultant
In the year 2010, Riya group launched Riya Education to further its vision to connect people globally. RIYA EDUCATION is now a forerunner among India overseas education consultants bringing with it the associated strengths of its parent company.
We had an opportunity to interview its director Mr. Thomas Mathai and also Mr. Ajit who in incharge of Travel Organization in India (Germany).
Excerpts of interview with Thomas Mathai
Riya Education offer guidance for overseas education to students. Many of its students are studying in countries like New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Sweden, UK, and Switzerland. Mr. Thomas Mathai is the director of Riya Education, which has been in operation for the past five years.
Mr. Thomas Mathai says that Riya Education is a part of Riya Group Enterprises, a travel tourism company. Lots of people have patronized the company for several decades and sought the help of the company to guide their children in their pursuit of higher education. As a result, the company came across people from different parts of the world associated with study, especially New Zealand. “This prompted us to venture in this division and we recruited trained people. Thus Riya Education was born.”
When asked if Riya Education helps in getting educational loans, Mr. Thomas Mathai said they provide only guidance which is based on the aspirations of the individuals, their family background and ability to foot the bill. The fees differ from country to country. “This is not the prime criteria but how they want to steer forward their career and education, and the core area they are aiming at.”
The company has so far received about 400 applicants. Countries like New Zealand, Germany, and Sweden constitute about 80% of their business and the list includes US, UK, Canada, Singapore and other countries. Mr. Thomas Mathai says that students and engineers come to them for post-graduation courses.
As to why students want to go abroad, Mr.Thomas Mathai points out:
· To get themselves skilled
· To acquire specialization,
· International exposure to move forward
· To associate with industry based individuals
· To get acquainted with people from all parts of the world
Asked about the charges of Riya Education for their services, Mr. Thomas Mathai says that “We don’t charge anything. We get only the fee paid by the universities.” But there is a nominal registration fee which is about Rs. 5000.
Mr. Thomas Mathai says that Riya Education selects students with “due diligence, due assessment on what they would like to be, what they have done academically and workwise, money they can afford, what their aspirations are, whether it is migration or development of career, if they are coming back to India.” Based on all these, Riya Education suggests countries, courses, and universities to students to choose from.
About the process involved, Mr. Thomas Mathai says:
· The students have to make the choice
· Apply to universities
· When it is accepted, they are taken through the process of visa
· When visa is granted, they are sent to representatives of the countries
· Finally brief the students about the conditions in those countries.
·The student should have proficiency in English, having passed IELTS apart from other qualifying exams
The challenges faced by Riya Education includes students who are not sure of what they want to be or where they want to head to. They are “influenced by their peers, suggestions from parental community, kin and kith, people from around them, and on top of it the internet that confuses them.” Secondly there are some students who think that they can go to the country, study for a few hours, and work rest of the time, and learn a few things to get a high class career. Riya Education tries to clear these assumptions but “it is a challenge sometimes because they are confused with too much information.”
On how Riya Education popularizes the guidance offered, Mr. Thomas Mathai says that they let the students know how if they study abroad, they acquire qualification and skills. The student gets qualification, skills, acquaintance with international multicultural environment, and move with people around the globe. They are made to realize these things come handy for them in future, business, or career. Today it is important they move forward and get global exposure.
Mr. Thomas Mathai feels that Indian universities are good in education perspective but they are not skill oriented. In many universities, curriculum is decade old, character based and delivered by people who are from academic platform. Even though the students are qualified they are not employable. Mr. Thomas Mathai says that students have the ability, study in India and get foreign exposure. “They should gain skill and experience outside India and come back to India. It is an opportunity to take things forward and it is a positive thing that many students do that. It will do well for us as we will transform. It is always good to have exposure of different people and culture.”
Excerpts of interview with Mr. Amit
Leaving for higher studies and career opportunities may prove to be a cause of anxiety and worry for most, but Riya Education with Mr. Thomas Mathai as its Director, takes up the responsibility of easing the stress and helping them gain confidence to settle abroad. Focusing mainly on countries like Germany, Sweden, and New Zealand, Riya Education has Mr. Ajit to take care of the requirements of students heading to Germany for their education and career.
When asked how the merit of the students are assessed in Germany, Mr. Ajit says:
· Education system in Germany is free
· No tuition fee for international or local students in universities funded by government.
· There are 350 universities
· Leads are generated and students are sent to Germany, Sweden, and New Zealand
· These countries are the revenue market of the company
The criteria for admitting students to bachelors program in Germany are:
· Students should have had 13 years of education
· In India it is only 12 years but since Germany has one more year, the students should do one year foundation course in Germany
· Then they move on to the bachelors program which is free.
· Students should clear examinations conducted twice in a year
· Examination will be based on Plus 1 and Plus 2 maths and will be of 1 hour duration
· Sometimes they have English oral communication skill it is quite rare.
· Normally if one is good in maths they will get admission
The examination is called Freshman’s exam. German language is not compulsory for these courses and students can study in English. If they want to study a part of the course in German, they need to provide language certification but this is not mandatory. For post-graduation courses, they should have 15 years of education with which they can apply to any university and any subject. There is no entrance exam for public universities. The student should have scored good marks in bachelors’ exam.
Germany embassy charges about 8000 euros for about one year of living condition in Germany which should be borne by the student. “Even if the student goes for free education program, they have to show this fund in the account.”
Mr. Ajit says that Germany has the advantage of permitting people get permanent residency. “If they get a job there, work for two years, pay insurance and pension contribution, they can get permanent residence in two years. “
About studying in Sweden, Mr. Ajit says “the universities introduced tuition fee in 2011. Everything was free then but now students have to pay fees for all courses. They don’t have any limitation to take up part time jobs unlike UK or USA where the students are allowed to work only for 20 hours a week. In Sweden students can take up part time jobs and work.”
New Zealand also has tuition fee which will be about Rs. 18-25 lakhs in private universities. Here the “type of courses are different and have diploma or bachelors or masters’ courses. Various courses are available in New Zealand.” It is more affordable than Germany or Sweden. The diploma courses will cost Rs. 8-12 lakhs, while the post graduate course will cost Rs. 12-13 lakhs per year for engineering course. “For a 4 year engineering course, the amount will be high along with living expenses.” Mr. Ajit says that people don’t go for bachelors or masters universities due to the high fee structure. “They normally go into institute of polytechnic which are government organizations focusing on technical education.”
Mr. Ajit concludes that Riya Education gets encouraged from middle class upwards. He says “we won’t recommend students from below middle class as they will struggle financially. So we will screen students based on their economic background and suggest courses that will be apt for them.”
For more information, please visit: http://riyaeducation.com/about-us/
Phone : +91 484 235 3484/Mobile : +91-999-5869-656