Wednesday, December 19, 2012

For second year, fewer Indian students went to US colleges

The US appears to be losing its draw as the destination of choice for Indian students looking to study abroad. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the total number of students from India attending US colleges and universities dipped for the second year in a row. Students from India make up approximately 13.1 per cent of the total foreign student population in the country.

The number of Indian students dipped 3.5 per cent from 103,895 in 2010-11 to 100,270 in 2011-12. A total of 104,897 students from India attended institutions of higher learning in the US in the 2009-2010 academic year, according to an annual report by the Washington DC-based Institute of International Education.

Majority of the Indian students study at the graduate (Master’s) level. Data culled from the report show that in 2011-12, 13 per cent of the students were undergraduates, 58.9 per cent were graduate students. Some 26.7 per cent students opted for Optional Practical Training.

India lost the top slot as the leading country of origin to China after the 2008-09 academic year.

In 2000-01, Indian enrolments surged 30 per cent, followed by two more years of strong growth (at 12 per cent in 2002-03 and 7 per cent in 2003-04). The increases tapered off in 2004-05 and then decreased slightly in 2005-06, before resuming much larger increases in 2006-07 and for the next two years. In 2009-10, the growth flattened, and China topped the list. It continues to retain the position.

This year, international exchanges (foreign students) contributed $22.7 billion to the US economy, despite the fact that international students constitute less than 4 per cent of total US higher education enrolment.

The report highlighted the fact that more than 70 per cent of all international students receive the majority of their funds from sources outside of the US, including personal and family sources as well as assistance from their home country governments.

Among the top 10 destinations, Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana had the largest percentage increases, with the international student population in each state growing by close to 10 per cent. At the institutional level, the University of Southern California had the largest number of international students, followed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York University, Purdue University and Columbia University. The report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Source: The Hindu Business Line, December 19, 2012

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