Indians among largest number of international students in the US

Report reveals 25 pc increase in Indian students in 2015-16

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November 15, 2016

/ By / Kolkata



The US is a popular destination for Indian students looking to study abroad.

The US is a popular destination for Indian students looking to study abroad.

A large number of international students in the US are from India, and this number is increasing in large volumes, says Open Doors report.

The number of Indian student in the US rose almost a 25 pc in 2015-16, as revealed by Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. This report collects and interprets data released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and works in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This year also marks the second consecutive year when India accounts for the largest growth of international students in America, according to the comprehensive study, with the number of foreign students in the US universities surpassing one million for the first time during the 2015-16 academic year.

China remained the top country in sending students to the US, with an estimate of two times the number of students from India. However, the rate of growth and absolute increase of international students from India has surpassed China, according to the report.

For the year 2015, there were around 1,044,000 international students from around the world, which amounted to 5 pc of the total student population in the US. Engineering, math or computer science were subjects pursued by more than a third of the international students and 14 pc engaged in Optional Practical Training, including many in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) professions.

According to the report, one out of every six international students in the US is accounted for by India. The growth in international STEM field students is thus likely connected to the increasing number of students from India. Approximately three-fourths are in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The study also reported that most students from India were pursuing studies at the level of a graduate.

Global picture

India and China remained on top as the countries of origin for international students in the US, accounting for 84 pc of growth of international students in 2015-16 in the country. However, Saudi Arabia surpassed South Korea in becoming the third largest sender of international students to the US, perhaps facilitated by Saudi Arabia’s government-sponsored international scholarship program drive. Students from these three countries are now said to represent approximately 53 pc of the total enrolment of international students in the US, as observed by the report.

Although the number of Indian students in the US seems to be increasing, the number of American students who went to study abroad in India reportedly came down in the year 2015-16, with a 3 pc decline to about 4,438 students. Many Indian students however, don’t necessarily share the apprehensions that other immigrants and Indians in the US have been facing since Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential elections. Numbers are likely to increase this year as well, with a steady flow of students from India to the US likely to surpass China someday.

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