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Only two countries — China and India — sent more students to the US in 2017-18 than the previous year. Overall, the US hosts over 1 million foreign students.

New Delhi: India has held on to its position as one of the top two countries that send students to the United States of America, just behind China.

South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada round out the top five.

For the fifth consecutive year, the number of Indians studying in the United States has gone up. Nearly 2 lakh Indian students are studying at various American universities in 2017-18, an increase of 5.4 per cent compared to last year, the Open Doors Report on International Student Exchange 2018 released Tuesday has revealed.

This, however, is less than the 12 per cent increase recorded last year.

Among the top five countries, only China and India’s numbers have shown an increase — South Korea’s numbers have dropped by 7 per cent, Saudi Arabia’s have dropped 15 per cent and Canada’s 4 per cent. In fact, 12 of the top 25 countries have shown a declining number of students.

The top American universities that host international students are New York University, University of Southern California, Boston’s Northeastern University, Columbia University and Arizona State University.

Officials in the embassy refused to attribute any reason to the drop in numbers.

Also read: America’s need for skilled immigrants won’t go away

More undergraduates

The total number of students enrolled across all levels and courses has risen by 1.5 per cent to 1,094,792. However, the number of first-time students has fallen by 6.6 per cent.

The number of undergraduate students has increased by 6.2 per cent, but at graduate and non-degree levels, the number of students has fallen by 9 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

Apart from this, the numbers from around 12 of the top 25 countries that sends students to USA also decreased. South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada and even some of the European countries including Germany and France sent lesser students to US in 2017-18.

Also read: Tata Trusts accused of favouring Harvard over ‘under-privileged’ Indian universities

Indians stick to conventional subjects

In terms of the field of study, the report shows that there is a growing trend among students to choose unconventional subjects like art and design, music, architecture, medical technology and tech design. Other subjects that are growing in popularity are geophysics, marine engineering, psychology, journalism and sound engineering.

Indian students, however, stick to conventional subjects — 73 per cent of them are studying mathematics, computer science and engineering. Ten per cent are enrolled in business and management, while 8 per cent are enrolled in physical science and health.

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