The US universities have registered 12.3% growth of Indian students in the past one year, according to a report. As per US’s economy in 2016, Indians contribute $6.5 billion to it and stand second to China. Indians are the second largest group of international students in the country.
During 2016-17, there were 1,86,267 Indian students and 350,755 Chinese students studying in the US, registering 6.8% increase as per the annual Open Doors report of the Institute of International Education (IIE).
The overall figure of international students in the US increased by three per cent over last year while the American diasporas studying abroad stood at four per cent.
Of the total international students in the US, the Indians comprise of 17.3%. Among them, it is mainly at the graduate level that a majority of them flock to the country.
Breakdown as per the 2016-17 report:
11.8% undergraduate students
56.3% graduate students
1.2% other and
30.7% Optional practical Training
Reaching a record high of 1.08 million, the US colleges and universities in 2016-17, for the second consecutive year, hosted more than one million international students.
Dip in new enrolments
The international students enrolled for the first time at a US institution saw a fall in the year 2016 by nearly 10,000 students taking the total to about 2,91,000 students. That’s a three per cent cut from the last year. It is for the first time that the numbers saw decline in the six years since Open Doors reported new enrolments.
“International student exchange is an essential contributor to America’s economic competitiveness and national security,” said Alyson L Grunder, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Policy in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“The US higher education sector remains the global leader in welcoming students from around the world, and at the same time, we are committed to increasing opportunities to study abroad for Americans,” Grunder said.
The IIE president and CEO Allan E Goodman said countries and multinational employers around the world are competing to attract top talent.
“As more countries become active hosts of international students and implement national strategies to attract them, the competition for top global talent in higher education and the workforce will only intensify,” he said.
Goodman felt that it is critical at this juncture to put forth strategic goals for the US institutions, be proactive in reaching out to the students and their families around the globe. It is also important for the US to keep its doors open for the international students.
The top places of origin for international students studying in the US were China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil.
The top host states were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. Each of these states saw increase in international students in 2016-17.
The top host destinations for US students studying abroad in 2015/16 were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany. The number of American students studying in India dropped from 4,438 to 4,181 with India ranking 15.
According to the report, institutions express concerns about recruiting students from the Middle East and North Africa (76 per cent) likely due to adjustments in the Saudi Arabian government’s scholarship programme and potential concerns about travel restrictions to the US.