New Delhi: More and more Indian students are going to the United States straight after school to pursue graduation. In 2018-19, India sent the second largest number of students to the US after China.
According to the latest US Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released Monday, the percentage of undergraduate students going to the US has increased consecutively for the second year, while that of the graduates fell for the same period.
India sent more than 202,000 students to the US in 2018-19 for various levels, including undergraduate, graduate, non-degree and others.
The report said the number of foreign students in the US set an all-time high in the 2018/19 academic year, the fourth consecutive year with more than 1 million international students.
In 2017-18, there was 6.2 per cent growth in the number of undergraduate students. This year, the growth has been 6.3 per cent. More than 24,000 students are enrolled for graduation in the US currently.
In the graduate category, there was a drop of 8.8 per cent, in 2017-18. The figure is 5.6 per cent in the same category this year. The number of Indian graduates in the US universities currently is 90,333.
Over 2 lakh Indian students in US
Explaining the reason behind this, a senior official in the United States Indian Educational Foundation (USIEF) said, “More Indian parents have started realising return on investment in their children’s education if they send them to US universities for graduation. This is why we have seen an influx at the undergraduate level.”
More Indian parents are also said to be choosing to send their children abroad rather than getting them into an Indian institute because of the high level of competition at the entrance level in the institutions in the country.
The overall figure of Indian students studying in the US is at an all-time high at over 2 lakh. According to the report, this is for the first time that the number has crossed the 2-lakh mark.
According to US officials, most Indian students are going for STEM (Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects followed by Business Administration of late. The top five states receiving Indian students are New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts and Illinois.
The latest UNESCO report says there are 3,32,033 Indian students currently studying abroad, with the US being the most preferred destination, followed by Australia, Canada, UK and Germany.
“Indians make up for 18 per cent of all international students in the US. This marks the sixth consecutive year that the total number of Indians pursuing higher education in the US has grown,” USIEF, the US Embassy’s Minister Counselor for Counsular Affairs Charisse Phillips said.
India, China account for over 50% of international students in US
The data from the US Department of Commerce stated that international students contributed USD 44.7 billion to the US economy in 2018, an increase of 5.5 per cent from the previous year.
Students from India and China account for more than 50 per cent of international students, said the report that was released by Institute of International Education (IIE) and US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Following China are India on the list are South Korea (52,250), Saudi Arabia (37,080), and Canada (26,122, +0.8 per cent), according to the report.
“We are happy to see the continued growth in the number of international students in the United States and US students studying abroad,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“Promoting international student mobility remains a top priority for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and we want even more students in the future to see the United States as the best destination to earn their degrees,” she said.
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