The number of Indian students currently in the United States has doubled since 2012-13, the 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange shows. As of 2017-18, there were 196,271 Indian students in the US, up 5.4% from last year, and more than twice the 96,734 in 2012-13.
“The reasons are clear: Indian students are looking for a great education and the United States continues to offer this,” Joseph Pomper, US-Indian Educational Foundation Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, said in New Delhi Tuesday. Pomper said that the US embassy continues to see well qualified Indians applying to study in the US as well as record attendances at US university fairs held across the country.
Indians form the second largest student population in the US, following China. Chinese account for 33.2% and Indians for 17.9% of the international students in the US. Chinese students grew 3.6% from 350,755 in 2016-2017 to 363,341 in 2017-2018. South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada are next, with student populations of 54,555; 44,432; and 25,909 respectively.
The total number of international students in the US (1,094,792) rose 1.5% in the last one year, compared to growth rates of 3.4%, 7.1% and 10% in the preceding three years. International students are 5.5% of the total student population in the US (1,98,31,000). The number of F1 visas issued to students dropped by a staggering 28.46% from 2016 to 2017.
Nearly half of the current Indian students in 2018 (95,671) are pursuing graduate programmes; this population has declined 8.8% since last year. Another 23,346 Indian students are pursuing undergraduate degrees, up 6.2% compared to last year; 1,884 are in non-degree programmes, down 16.6%; 75,390 are in Optional Practical Training (OPT) programmes, up 32%. Nearly three-quarters of the Indian students are in maths/computer and engineering programmes, 10% are studying business and management, and 8% are in physical science and health professionals courses.
The number of American students in India, too, has increased – by 12.5%, to 4,704.