Rise in Indian students in the U.S

Updated - December 02, 2016 04:38 pm IST

Published - November 20, 2016 12:00 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

For the second year in a row, India has accounted for the highest growth in students studying in the U.S., according to the 2016 Open Doors Report of the Institute of International Education.

Between 2014-15 and 2015-16, the number of Indian students in the U.S. increased by 24.9 per cent to reach 1,65,918. India is also the second leading country of origin behind China, accounting for every sixth international student in the U.S. The number of students coming to India from the U.S., however, declined by 3.2 per cent to 4,438.

Graduate, OPT students

Eighty-seven per cent of the total increase in Indian students comprised graduate and Optional Practical Training (OPT) students.

Although undergraduate students make up only 12 per cent of the increase, their number has risen by 16.8 per cent from the previous year.

While a majority of the undergraduate students from India are enrolled in private institutions, most of the Masters and Doctoral students attend public institutions.

Concentration in STEM

The report says that three-fourths of the number of Indian students are in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field, with 36 per cent majoring in Engineering and 34 per cent studying Mathematics and Computer Science. This concentration of Indian students in the STEM field has probably led to the rapid growth of Mathematics and Computer Science among international students, according to the report.

Combined together, these two fields of study grew the fastest, by 25.4 per cent.

Other South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, also recorded double-digit growth rates.

Overall, the number of international students in the U.S. increased by 7.1 per cent, with international students now making up 5.2 per cent of all higher education students in the U.S.

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