Desi students in US soar by 25%, highest among top 25 senders

NEW DELHI: Despite the xenophobia, international students in the US have crossed the one-million mark, an increase of 7% over the previous year. And one in six of them in Trumpland is an Indian.The rate of growth of Indian students, for the third straight year, at almost 25% in 2015-16 is the highest among the top 25 places of origin for scholars in America. In all, 1.7 lakh students from India are studying in the US, making up 16% of the total international students.

A majority of them study at the graduate level. In 2015-16, the breakdown was: 11.6% undergraduate; 61.4% graduate; 1.5% other; 25.5% OPT (Optional Practical Training). Indian student population grew the fastest in US colleges, rising by 25% in 201516. Last year, these students contributed $5billion to the American economy .
In absolute numbers, China remains the largest sender of international students to the US, with a 31.5% share in all international enrollment.

Students from the top three senders, China, India, and Saudi Arabia–now represent approximately 53% of all international student enrollment.In all, 10,43,839 foreign candidates, representing 5% of the US’ total higher education student population, contribute nearly $36 billion to the US economy , says the department of commerce.
Open Doors 2016 reports that about 75% of all international students receive the majority of their funds from sources outside the US, including personal and family sources as well as assistance from their home country governments or universities.

The number of Chinese students grew by 8.1% in 2015-16, but those from India rose 24.9% in 2015-16, following a 29.4% growth the year prior and a 6.1% growth rate the year before that(see box).Saudi Arabia replaced South Korea as the third-largest place of origin, though the increase in Saudi students, up 2.2%, has slowed. South Korea came next and the student growth declined by 4.2%. Another notable change was a18.2% drop in students from Brazil, a drop largely attributable to the suspension of the Brazilian government’s large-scale Science Without Borders overseas scholarship programme.

Despite the rise in international students, Open Doors shows that the gender gap among international students has widened slightly over the past two years. Overall, 43% students who went to the US during the 2015-16 academic year were women, down from 45% five years ago, likely because fewer women tend to study the science maths fields worldwide.California hosted nearly 1.5 lakh international students in 2015-16, making it their top destination. Four of the top 20 host institutions were in California, with the University of Southern California ranking second, just behind New York University . New York is the second leading host state, and New York city is the leading host metropolitan area.

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