Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

United States sees 12% increase in Indian students in 2017

United States sees 12% increase in Indian students in 2017

IL schools enrolled 52,225 worldwide students for the 2016-2017 year, which is a 3.8 percent increase from the previous academic year, according to the Institute of global Education's annual Open Doors study. The 3 percent drop was the first in the six years the report has published that statistic.

The one positive news from 2016 is that more foreign students are staying in the United States after they finish their degrees to continue learning through internship programs called "optional practical training".

"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, asserting: "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 overseas for Americans".

California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and MA are the top five USA states receiving Indian students and each saw an increase in worldwide students in 2016-17, according to the 2017 "Open Doors Report" released Monday.

After years of rapid growth, enrollment of first-time global students in US colleges and universities dipped last year amid concerns about political uncertainty, tuition increases, visa delays and reductions in scholarship money, an annual survey found.

In 2016/17, for the second consecutive year, United States colleges and universities hosted more than one million worldwide students, reaching a record high of 1.08 million.

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In New Delhi, Karl Adams, deputy cultural affairs officer at the USA embassy, said that though he would not speculate on the reason for the lower numbers, the 12.3% increase in the number of Indian students in the United States was certainly a great number and his country "welcomes" genuine Indian students. The IIE press statement attributed the slowing of growth to a number of factors, including more higher education options at home.

The scaling back of large Saudi and Brazil government scholarship programs led to the sharp fall in the number of students from those two countries.

"They're not unreasonable questions", he said.

In Canada and Australia, especially, many colleges saw dramatic increases in applications and in student visas. "This may be a good wake-up call for some schools to review their approach".

He cited increased costs to attend USA colleges; competition from schools in other countries, especially the U.K., Canada, Australia and Germany; visa delays or denials in visas; as well as the social and political climate in the US may play a part in fewer enrollments.

The executive summary, preliminary data, and media reports point to several different reasons, but the current political climate in the country likely has something to do with it. Numbers might also be skewed because some Chinese students are entering the attend high school and then enrolling into college here. She said a range of factors play into the decrease in 2017. China dropped out of the top five host countries, as the number of US students studying there dropped by 9 percent.

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