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Nearly 21 percent of foreign students in the US are now Indian

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) The presence of Indian students in American universities has increased by 19 per cent compared to the last year, and nearly 21 per cent of over one million foreign students are Indian students, a US government report said.

In 2021-22, 1,99,182 students with India as their place of origin were pursuing higher education in the US, as against 1,67,582 in 2020-21, according to the Open Doors Report, an annual survey on international students released Monday. In 2012-13, there were 96,654 Indian students in higher education in the US.

The rise in Indian students moving to the US is likely to overtake China in 2022-23, with 82,000 visas issued between June and August – the highest number among all countries.

The year 2021-22 saw 62,000 student visas being issued, said Don Heflin, Minister Counsellor for Consular Affairs at the US embassy in New Delhi.

In contrast, China fell behind India as strict quarantine norms and travel restrictions due to Covid made it harder for Chinese students to acquire visas. Heflin said that around 110,000-120,000 visas are issued to Chinese students, which fell to around 50,000.

In 2021-22, China and India collectively accounted for 52 per cent of all international students in the US, the report, which is sponsored by the US Department of State and implemented by the non-profit Institute of International Education (IIE), said.

China showed a drop of nine per cent in the latest round, with the number of Chinese students pursuing higher education in the US going down from 3,17,299 in 2020-21 to 2,90,086 in 2021-22.

A decade ago, there were 2,35,597 Chinese higher education students in the US. The rise in Indian numbers came after the slump caused by pandemic years.

Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, as well as 2019-20 and 2020-21, the number of Indian students enrolled in US universities had fallen by 4.4 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively.

The 19 per cent increase in Indian students studying in America was largely driven by graduate students, Heflin said. A majority of Indian students chose Math and Computer Science, Engineering and Business, and Management, according to a US embassy official.

Overall, the total number of international students pursuing higher education in the US went up from 9.14 lakh in 2020-21 to 9.48 lakh in 2021-22.

“It is clear that Indian students and their parents recognize the value of US education, one that prepares them to leverage their newly gained know-how to tackle the world’s challenges and readies them for future opportunities, whether that’s in Artificial Intelligence, emerging technologies or entrepreneurship and innovation,” Gloria Berbena, minister counselor for Public Diplomacy, said.

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