The number of Indian students in the US touched an all-time high of 1,86,267 in 2016-17. But the growth of Indian students in the US hit a 3-year low in 2016-17. Indian students contributed $6.54 billion to the US economy in 2016-17, more than the total higher education budget of the Indian government.
The 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange revealed that the number of international students at US Colleges and Universities remained at more than a million even in 2016-17. But the annual growth rate of international students in 2016-17 was the lowest in seven years. The number of international students was at 1,078,822 in 2016-17 as opposed to 1,043,839 in 2015-16.
The number of Indian students in the US grew by about 12 percent in 2016-17, the lowest growth rate in 3 years. This slowdown was expected following the uncertainty in VISA regime and Donald Trump becoming the President of the US.
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As per the Open Doors report, out of the million plus international students in 2016-17, 68 percent are from Asia (50 percent from China and India alone), 8.6 percent are from Europe, 7.4 percent are from the Latin America, 9.3 percent are from Middle East and North Africa. A mere 3.5 percent are from the Sub-Saharan Africa. The percentage of Asians has increased in 2016-17 compared to 2015-16. The percentage of students from Muslim majority Middle-Eastern and North African countries has decreased in 2016-17, clearly indicating the impact of the policies of Donald Trump.
China And India Account for Half The International Students In The US
As expected, the two most populous countries of the world account for close to half of the international students in the US in 2016-17. China leads the pack with 3,50,755 students followed by India with 1,86,267 students. South Korea is third in the list followed by Saudi Arabia and Canada. Seven of the top ten countries are Asian. There are more than 10,000 international students each from sixteen (16) different countries in 2016-17.
Number Of Indian Students In The US Increases, But Growth Falls
The number of Indian students in the US has increased by more five times, from 33,818 in 1997-98 to 1,86,267 in 2016-17, in a period of 20 years. They currently make up 17.2 percent of all international students in the USA, up from 15.8 percent in 2015-16. The number of Indian students has increased in every year except for 2005-06 and the period between 2010-11 and 2012-13 when there was a negative growth. The highest growth rate of 29.4 percent was observed in 2014-15. The growth in the number of Indian students in 2016-17 was 12.3 percent, the lowest in 3 years.
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True to its name as a land of engineering graduates, more than 70 percent of the Indian students in the US chose Engineering/Computer Science/Math (STEM) as their field of study as against a global average of 36 percent. Only about 10 percent chose Business and Management as their field of study compared to a global average of 18.6 percent. Except for engineering & computer science, the percentage of Indian students who chose a specific field of study is less than the global average in all other fields. For instance, while 7.7 percent of the international students chose Social Sciences, only 2.3 percent of the Indian students chose Social Sciences as their field of study.
Indian Students Contributed $6.54 Billion To The US Economy In 2016-17
According to the Open Doors report, Indian students in US contributed $6.54 billion to the US economy in 2016-17. This is more than the total higher education budget of Government of India for 2017-18. The international student community on the other hand contributed $39.4 billion to the US economy in 2016.
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An estimated 56.3 percent of the Indian students in the USA are at the Graduate (Masters) level in 2016-17, which is less than 61.4 percent in 2015-16, clearly indicating the impact by the decrease in F-1 visas in 2016. 11.8 percent of the Indian students are at the Under-Graduate level. More than 30 percent of them are in OPT (Optional Practical Training) compared to just 22.1 percent in 2014-15, indicating a slump in the job market and approval of H1-B visas.
Texas, California And New York Still The Favourites
Texas, California and New York in that order were the top three destinations for Indian students in the US in 2016-17. Texas had 21,960 Indian students while California and New York both had more than 19,000 Indian students each. Illinois was the only other state with more than 10,000 students. The top 10 states with Indian students accounted for 65 percent of all Indian students in the US. It must be noted that Texas was the not the top destination for all international students. It was the third most preferred destination for international students and first for Indian Students. The most preferred destination for International students was California followed by New York.
Primary Source Of Funding For International Students
For more than 60 percent of the international students in the US in 2016-17, the primary source of funding was their family. The current employment funded the studies of more than 16 percent students, up from 6.6 percent in 2015-16. This indicates that the proportion of people with work experience going to the US for higher studies has gone up. About 15 percent were funded by a US college or university while 5.73 percent were funded by a foreign government or university.
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(This article was first published on Faclty.in)
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