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Tighter visa regulations and wider options at home at IITs and IIMs apparently led to a sharp fall in the number of Indian students seeking to pursue education abroad, as was evident from a 20 percent fall in the expenses on overseas education during 2015-16.

The number of such students dropped to a four-year low during the previous fiscal, while the money spent was $1.93 billion, down from $2.47 billion in the preceding financial years, reported the Mint.

However, the fall in the number of students could not be quantified, the daily said.

"RBI data indicates largely two things, more quality higher educational institutions such as IITs, IIMs and universities in India has helped restrict the student flow abroad, and two, the tough immigration rules in countries like the United Kingdom has restricted the brain-drain," a government official was quoted as saying by Mint.

The expenditure was $1.93 billion in 2013-14 and $1.63 billion in the preceding financial year, the daily added, citing Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data.

India established 15 Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and 12 Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) in the past eight years. Besides, the increase in the number of national institutes of technology (NITs) and similar institutions also added to more options for Indian students keen to pursue higher education. 

According to data from the World Bank, countries across the world spend between 17 and 22 percent of their total government expenditure towards education. 

For Indian students, the U.K. and the U.S. have been two popular choices, but in the last few years, the number of students going to the U.K.has seen a decline. The fall could well translate into gains for Germany, New Zealand and Canada as students look at these countries, Suneet Singh Kochar, Chief Executive of consultancy firm Fateh Education was quoted as saying by Mint.

reported the Mint.